TIFFIN -- After taking down third in the conference, Marietta, on Saturday, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team took a run at the top team in John Carroll University. This time, the Student Princes were edged 70-68 by the Blue Streaks.
Heidelberg (7-7, 3-4) kept pace with John Carroll (10-4, 6-1) all the way to the very end. After finishing the first quarter knotted at 21, JCU held the slight one point lead at the break. Then, the Berg evened the score at the end of the third frame, before the Blue Streaks found the final gear to take the two-point victory back to University Heights.
The Student Princes were led by a near 20-20 night by Maddy Crawford. The junior forward poured in 21 points and hauled down 17 rebounds for her tenth double-double of the season. Crawford also swatted away four block attempts, bringing her total to a league leading 27 blocks.
On 50% shooting in the first quarter, Heidelberg found themselves trailing by as many as five points with 6:28 remaining. From that moment, they found their gear and went on a 13-0 run, quickly establishing an eight point spread in their favor. The Blue Streaks managed to claw their way back into it, evening the score by the break.
The second stanza swayed in favor of the visitors as they managed a seven point lead midway through the period. This time, it was the Berg's turn to reel in the leaders by packing together six points by Ulmer, before Maddy Crawford sunk a pair of free throws to bring the score level. Alyssa Riley then game the Student Princes a brief lead on a layup. However, a late Nicole Heffington 3-pointer gave JCU a one point halftime edge.
The third quarter was a low scoring affair with the Berg only managing 12 points, while John Carroll only mustered 11. With just three second remaining, Alyssa Riley swiped an inbounds pass and scooped in a layup to give Heidelberg what appeared to be a three point advantage heading to the fourth quarter. However, John Carroll once again saved a last second 3-ball, this time, coming on a half court heave by Kahrin Spear. The score was deadlocked once again heading to the fourth at 49-49.
John Carroll flexed their prowess in the fourth quarter quickly extending their lead out to five points. The Student Princes started the frame on the up, scoring the first four points, before the Blue Streaks went on a 9-0 run, forcing a Heidelberg timeout. The debrief seemed to help as the Berg exchanged baskets with the Blue Streaks closing within two. However, with just 1:21 remaining in the contest, John Carroll had built out a nine point lead at 67-58.
This time, the Berg forced their will to stay in the game, They put together a 10-3 run. Unfortunately a 3-pointer by Alyssa Riley at the buzzer would be as close as they would come, ending the game 70-68.
Additionally for the Student Princes, Aianna Wilson contributed a nine point, six rebound, four assist, two steal evening. Casey Moore and Mattie Overmyer each had a team-high +9 on the floor. The pair combined for five points, eight rebounds, one assist and a steal.
The Student Princes held the significant advantage on the glass, pulling down 42 rebounds compared to John Carroll's 31. Their fight to keep their chances alive showed through, as they mustered 16 offensive boards. .
For the Blue Streaks, Nicole Heffington scored a game-high 36 points. In addition to her offensive force, Heffington pulled down a team-high 11 boards. Olivia Nagy also hit double figures in scoring with 12.
The Berg will hit the road with the men's team for a conference doubleheader at Muskingum University. Women are scheduled to play at 2 p.m. while the men will tip at 4 p.m.