WBB: Student Princes edged in Battle of the 'Bergs

Photo courtesy of Mitch Blankespoor
Photo courtesy of Mitch Blankespoor

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- In the Battle of the 'Bergs, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team was edged by Wittenberg University by a final score of 72-68.

Heidelberg (6-6) carried an 11-point lead at the half, but was outscored 42-27 in the second half by Wittenberg (7-5).

"We played hard, but Witt played harder in the second half," commented head coach Morgan Harrigan on the game. "We let the officials fluster us, we missed crucial free throws, and at the end of the day, we can only blame ourselves."

Brooke Beamer picked up right where she left off on Friday evening, exploding for 23 points. She paired her offensive efforts with four assists, two steals, and two rebounds.

Maddy Crawford continued her consistent production bagging her eighth double-double of the season with a 12-point, 12-rebound night. The junior post player also tallied four blocks -- giving her 21 on the season.

It was a slow start for both teams in a fairly even first quarter, as both teams combined to miss their first six shots. Maddy Crawford was big on the defensive end for Heidelberg, blocking two Tiger shots.

Aianna Wilson broke the deadlock just over a minute into the game with a driving layup. The remainder of the quarter became a back-and-forth affair as both teams saw the lead change in their favor four times.

The Student Princes started the second quarter on a hot streak, making five of their first seven attempts by the midway point of the stanza. A Mattie Overmyer 3-ball, followed by a made layup by Maddy Crawford extended the Berg's lead to 41-30 by the halftime intermission.

Wittenberg flipped the script out of the break, quickly erasing the 11-point deficit. It took just 3:45 of gametime for the Tigers to even the score on a pair of free throws by Delaney Williams. From there, Heidelberg battled back, outscoring Witt 12-9 over the last 6:15 of the third quarter.  

With a 56-54 lead into the fourth quarter, Heidelberg remained in the close battle, exchanging the lead with the Tigers on nearly every possession. It wasn't until the 1:44 mark that Witt tied the game, on a Williams 3-pointer. Riley Culver then converted a three point play, before Williams split a pair of free throws to complete the scoring.

The Berg held the advantage on the boards collecting 49 compared to Witt's 42.

The Tigers shot a dismal 1-for-12 from beyond the arc, keeping the Student Princes in control of the contest. Wittenberg did find an edge from the bench as they outproduced Heidelberg's reserves 28-18.

Wittenberg had a balanced offense with five players reaching double figures in scoring, led by Culver's 15 points.  

"We are looking forward to a fresh start and conference play in 2019," continued coach Harrigan.

For their contributions over the two-day Zimmerman Classic, Brooke Beamer and Maddy Crawford were selected to the All-Tournament team. Beamer tallied a combined 43 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Crawford ammassed 24 points, 25 rebounds, four assists, six blocks, and one steal over the two days. 

Heidelberg will be back in conference action on January 5, for a road contest at Marietta College. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m.