Third quarter surge lifts women's basketball

Photo by Doug Sampson / Heidelberg Athletics
Photo by Doug Sampson / Heidelberg Athletics

HOLLAND, Mich. -- Aided by a game-high 17 points from Marisa Liburdi and a double-double from Carli Patrick, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team erased a 10-point halftime deficit and beat Rochester (Mich.) College, 68-64. Patrick earned a spot on the Hope College Post-Exam Jam tournament team.

The sorely-needed win halted a three-game skid for Heidelberg -- now 3-6 overall. Rochester, which competes in the NAIA, dropped to 6-9.

Liburdi added eight rebounds to her 17 points. Patrick scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Senior Theresa Jackson chipped in with 14 points for HU. Maggie Davault scored 12 points and had a career-high eight rebounds.

After falling to No. 7 Hope on Friday, things looked bleak for Heidelberg in the first half. A Rochester layup put the Warriors ahead 19-7 less than ten seconds into the start of the second quarter. The Student Princes would go on an 8-0 run, capped off by a Cassidy Frank 3-pointer to cut the lead to 19-15. Still down by four with 1:39 left in the half, HU allowed Rochester to closed the period on an 8-2 run.

Down 39-29 at halftime, the Student Princes began to chip away at the deficit immediately in the third quarter. Bolstered by six points from freshman Brittanie Ulmer, Heidelberg opened with a 16-5 run -- taking the lead on a jumper by Liburdi. HU outscored Rochester 21-10 in the period and held a one-point cushion in the fourth.

The Student Princes led by as many as seven in the fourth quarter but Rochester battled back. A jumper by Bethany McCord tied the game at 64 with 1:28 to play.

With under 30 seconds left, Liburdi put back a miss by Jackson, giving HU a lead. Rochester had opportunities to tie -- but missed a pair at the line and rimmed out a jumper after an offensive board. Davault sealed the with two free throws in the waning seconds.

"We were able to reset in the third quarter and execute our game plan, which gave us confidence to win in the fourth," said head coach Morgan Harrigan. "The team chemistry and enthusiasm our girls played with was evident this weekend and we are excited to bring that back with us to conference play."

Rochester out-shot Heidelberg, 47.1% to 36.2%. The Student Princes dominated the glass, holding a 44-32 edge, including a 16-2 mark on the offensive glass.

Heidelberg will resume OAC action against Mount Union (4-4, 1-2 OAC) in a mid-week matinee on Tuesday. Tipoff in Alliance is slated for 3 p.m.