NEW CONCORD, Ohio -- Freshman Brooke Beamer poured in 22 points as the Heidelberg University women's basketball team picked up a crucial win over Muskingum University, 72-68.
Sophomore Maddy Crawford had an outstanding performance with 15 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. It is believed to be Heidelberg's first 20-plus rebound performance since Stacy Scudder had 26 rebounds on Feb. 25, 1993 -- also against Muskingum.
HU snapped a six game losing skid, improving to 4-9, 2-4 in the OAC. The Muskies slip to 6-7, 2-4 in conference action.
The two teams played a tight first quarter, with neither team leading by more than three points in the period, taking a 17-17 score into the second.
Heidelberg went on an 11-4 run for the first six minutes of the second quarter. Freshman Hannah Kilps ignited the run with a trey, pushing HU up by three. Crawford drained a pair of free throws and Beamer added a jumper to extend the lead to 26-19. The run was capped by another Beamer jump shot.
With one minute before the break, the Student Princes held an eight point edge. The Muskies cut the deficit to two points thanks to back-to-back threes by Olivia Besancon and Alivia Bates. The visitors took a 31-29 lead into halftime.
With 5:11 remaining in the third, Muskingum took a three point lead. HU scored six straight points, four from Beamer, to turn the small deficit into a three point lead. Beamer hit a jumper in the final minute to push HU up 49-43 heading into the fourth quarter.
Riley, a junior, hit a jumper with 7:34 to play for a 57-47 Student Prince lead. The Muskies put together a small 12-3 run to bring the score to 60-59 with 3:24 to play.
Clinging to a two point lead, Riley nailed a clutch triple to put HU up by five with two minutes remaining. Crawford and Beamer added layups to give the Student Princes a comfortable nine point advantage.
"We really want to focus on becoming a strong defensive team, so we have been going back to the basics in practice and drilling the importance as playing as a pack," said head coach Morgan Harrigan. "When we have confidence in our defense our offense feeds off of it."
Harrigan on the play of Crawford and Beamer: "We had several players step up today, including a huge double-double from Crawford and a complete game from Beamer … I'm very proud of our team's focus and resilience in staying the course over this rough stretch."
Muskingum shot just 35% from the floor, compared to HU's 42%. Despite the win, Heidelberg struggled from the foul line (11 of 18) and from distance (5 of 20).
Heidelberg returns home on Wednesday for a matchup with Capital University (7-6, 3-3 OAC). Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.