WILMINGTON, Ohio -- The Heidelberg University women's basketball team won its first conference game of the year -- and what a win it was!
With a 74-70 triumph, the Student Princes defeated Wilmington College on the road for the first time since 2001 -- snapping a string of 19 straight losses at Fred Raizk Arena.
Four starters reached double figures for Heidelberg (3-3, 1-1 OAC), led by a 22-point effort from Maddy Crawford. Crawford added 12 rebounds -- including five on the offensive glass -- to pick up her fourth double-double of the season.
"We had this game as one of our top goals this season because for some reason or another, we haven't won in this gym since our current freshmen were newborn babies," said Head Coach Morgan Harrigan. "It feels great to close that looming 6,400+ day losing streak here."
Up seven after one, Wilmington (4-2, 0-1 OAC) led by as many as 11 in the second quarter. Riley sent The Berg into intermission on a positive note, burying a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the period.
Down 38-30 to start the third, Harrigan's crew came out strong in the third. HU outscored the Quakers 24-11 in the frame -- ignited by a key stretch midway through. Down seven, buckets by Riley and Crawford closed the gap. Following a pair of free throws by Riley, Wilson put her squad ahead with a steal-and-a-score. After Wilmington regained the lead, Crawford converted a three-point play … then followed it up with a 3-pointer on the next HU possession. In the waning moments of the period, Wilson knocked down a 3-pointer to give her team a 54-49 lead through three.
The fourth quarter -- which featured 10 lead changes and four ties -- began with a seven-point Quaker run. As the teams jockeyed for the lead, the hosts were whistled for an offensive foul with 2:08 to play. Coming out of a timeout down 64-61, Riley lobbed the ball to Crawford cutting to the block for an easy lay-up. Following a WC miss, Riley hit a running lay-up of her own, giving HU a 65-64 lead with 1:23. Over the next 30 seconds, the teams traded points.
Down 68-67 with 51 seconds left, Heidelberg worked the ball to Riley. The senior stepped into and hit a key 3-pointer from the right wing on a pitch from Crawford. Out of a timeout, the Quakers gave the ball to Kennedy Lewis. Lewis, who finished with 22 points, drew iron with a floater. Wilson and WC's Savannah Hooper both tied up the rebound, but the possession arrow favored Heidelberg. From there, Heidelberg was able to drain clock and make free throws … two from Wilson and two from Crawford. Wilmington's final points came from the line with less than two seconds on the clock.
Heidelberg committed just nine turnovers, their fewest since tallying eight turnovers in a loss at Ohio Northern on Feb. 9, 2011.
"I am so proud of the way the girls stayed focused and play for each other all day," said Harrigan. "The chemistry we are playing with right now is genuine and I couldn't be more happy for this program and the young women that are committed to it."
Wilson added seven boards and three steals.
The Student Princes are off until they visit Otterbein next Saturday. Tipoff in Westerville on Dec. 8 is scheduled for 3 p.m.