UNIVERSITY HTS., Ohio -- Despite a 65-61 setback on the road Wednesday, the road to the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament remains simple for the Heidelberg University women's basketball team -- Win and in.
The Student Princes loss at John Carroll puts the team among a group of five teams fighting for three remaining berths in next week's eight-team tournament. In all tiebreaker scenarios, HU would hold the edge over competitors. In fact, a Heidelberg win coupled with an Otterbein loss would give the Student Princes the No. 6 seed and a home playoff game on Monday.
Senior Theresa Jackson recorded her second career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Cassidy Frank finished with 12 points, going 4 of 9 from three. Maggie Davault also finished in double figures with 10 points.
Back-to-back threes from Frank and Davault gave the Student Princes a quick 10-2 advantage. JCU cut the lead to 12-9, but HU responded thanks to layups by Jackson and Carli Patrick. Heidelberg led 23-14 after the first period.
The home team chipped away at the Heidelberg lead throughout the second quarter. JCU cut the lead to 28-22 with 1:08 before the break, but sharp-shooting Frank drained another triple, stopping the Blue Streak momentum. The Student Princes led 31-24 at halftime.
JCU opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run, knotting the game at 33. A layup by Kahrin Spear in the final seconds of the third gave the hosts a 45-42 advantage.
Tied at 48 with just under eight minutes to play, the Blue Streaks went on an 11-2 run to take a nine-point lead with 3:27 remaining.
Undeterred, the Student Princes began to chip away. Jackson and Mariah Pearson helped key a run that brought the Tricolor back to within three with 45 seconds left. Four free throws by Katlyn Spahar helped JCU put the game on ice.
Spahar paced the Blue Streaks with 21 points and nine boards.
Heidelberg shot 39% from beyond the arc compared to JCU's 17%.
Heidelberg will travel to Muskingum University (10-14, 6-11) on Saturday. Game time in New Concord is slated for 3 p.m.