WBB: Berg's strong finish drops Denison

Photos by Brennan Izzo
Photos by Brennan Izzo

TIFFIN -- A late surge lifted the Heidelberg University women's basketball team to a 63-53 non-conference victory over Denison University in Seiberling Gymnasium on Thursday.  Tied at 52 with three minutes left, The Berg scored the game's next 11 points en route to the win over the Big Red.

With the win, the Student Princes improved to 4-4 on the season, matching their win total from 2017-18.  Denison slipped to 4-6 overall.

"We'd try and go on a run, and they'd have a counter or offensive put-back and we're right back at a two-point game," head coach Morgan Harrigan said about the back-and-forth contest. "I'm just proud of multiple people being able to step up … Alyssa [Riley] came in and hit big shots, Maddy Crawford was consistent the whole day controlling the boards for us, and Brittanie Ulmer was huge connecting with the three-ball."

The Berg shot an outstanding 48% from the floor, led by Maddy Crawford's fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Brittanie Ulmer also reached double-digit scoring connecting on five of six shots from beyond the arc for 15 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

After starting the game strong, the Berg found their opportunity to establish control midway through the quarter. The five-point swing consisted of a Maddy Crawford layup followed by a 3-pointer by Mattie Overmyer on back-to-back possessions. Aianna Wilson picked up assists on both buckets extending the lead to 11-6.

Carrying a three point lead out of the first frame, Heidelberg began the second quarter on a 7-2 run, extending their lead to 22-14, their largest of the first half. The run was buoyed by two layups by Maddy Crawford and three-pointer by Brittanie Ulmer that bounced twice off the rim before dropping in.

Even while shooting 58% from the floor across the second quarter, the Student Princes couldn't manage to pull away from Denison, taking just a four point lead into the halftime break. Heidelberg saw a great second quarter effort from their bench, as Ulmer and Hannah Kilps accounted for a combined 10 points.

The Berg committed just three fouls over the first half while managing to keep the Big Red off the free throw line.

Once again, the Berg outshot the Big Red in the third quarter, but Denison still managed to cut the deficit to two over the third.

A 2:46 scoreless spell midway through the quarter was ended by a big-time 3-pointer by Brittanie Ulmer. Crawford, Beamer and Alli Adelsperger would all account buckets across the final four minutes for the Student Princes. However, the Big Red tacked on nine points of their own to close the gap to 44-42 at the end of the frame.

With the score deadlocked at 44 with 6:31 left in the fourth, Brittanie Ulmer stepped into a 3-pointer to re-establish the Berg's lead. Just 46 seconds later, Ulmer dispatched her fifth three of the game to extend the Berg's lead to 50-46 with just over five minutes left in the game.

After the Big Red forced the game back into a tie at 52, the Berg defense stepped up, as Maddy Crawford and Brooke Beamer each tallied steals that led to four free throws split by Alyssa Riley and Crawford.

Coming out of a late timeout ahead 58-52, Riley nailed a crucial 3-pointer for the Student Princes, all but sealing the game with just under one minute left. Another trip to the foul line for Crawford was all the Student Princes needed to cap the 63-53 victory.

FOR THE OPPONENT:

Alison Shafer led the Big Red with 18 points, while Tiffin-native Valesha Province tallied 13 of her own. Shafer also led Denison on the boards with six.

Denison shot just 33% from the floor, but managed 13 second-chance points with 15 offensive rebounds.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

Aianna Wilson continued to distribute the ball well tallying five assists.

Four Student Princes saw a double-digit positive +/- as Brooke Beamer was +14, Brittanie Ulmer was +13, Maddy Crawford was +12, and Leah Bouillon was +10.

Bouillon, Beamer and Wilson each collected two steals each on the evening, while Crawford swatted away four shot attempts.

UP NEXT:

The Student Princes hit the road with the men for a conference doubleheader at the University of Mount Union on Saturday, December 15. The women tip at 1 p.m. while the men follow at 3 p.m.