Bench leads women's basketball on the road

Mariah Pearson (Heidelberg Athletics)
Mariah Pearson (Heidelberg Athletics)

WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Desperate for a win, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team ended a five-game losing skid by defeating Otterbein University, 72-67, on Saturday afternoon. The win was the first road victory for the Berg this season.

Mariah Pearson led the Student Prince offense with a career-high 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Marisa Liburdi tallied 13 points and five assists while Carli Patrick added 10 points.

"We had great balance tonight and it was great to see multiple people bring energy from the bench onto the court," said Heidelberg head coach Morgan Harrigan. "We were also able to connect from three again and we hit some big shots down the stretch."

Heidelberg improved to 7-12, 4-8 OAC. The Cards fell to 8-11, 4-8 in conference play.

With 7:09 before halftime, Otterbein's Dani Kissel hit a jumper to give the home team a 24-16 lead. Heidelberg answered right away with a 13-4 run to take a 29-28 lead with a minute until the break.

Maggie Davault's 3-pointer cut the Otterbein lead to two points with 4:22 before the half. Following a Cardinal jumper, Pearson and Patrick added layups to tie the game at 26. Ali Cartnal's layup pushed Otterbein's lead to two points, before freshman Maddi Stiles hit a three to give Heidelberg a 29-28 advantage.

Cartnal hit two free throws before the half, giving Otterbein a 30-29 lead at the break.

A back-and-forth third quarter left Heidelberg clinging to a 46-45 lead heading into the final period.

Sharp-shooting Cassidy Frank ignited the Student Princes with a 3-pointer to give the Berg a 58-56 lead with just over five minutes remaining.

Pearson tacked on a three-point play with four minutes to play to give HU a four-point lead. With 1:47 left, senior Theresa Jackson drained a jumper to give the Berg some distance with a 66-59 advantage.

Despite Otterbein cutting the deficit to two points, Stiles and Patrick combined for six of six made free throws for the Heidelberg win.

Heidelberg held a 39-28 edge on the glass and had an 18-6 advantage in second-chance points.

The Berg bench outscored Otterbein 36-16.

"It's always nice to get a W on the road," concluded Harrigan.

The Student Princes host Capital University (9-10, 5-7) on Wednesday. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.