TIFFIN -- Playing on just one day's rest, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team attempted to make up for an earlier loss this season at the hands of Otterbein University on Wednesday evening inside Seiberling Gymnasium. Unfortunately, this time around ended in the same result, a loss.
Otterbein (10-7, 6-4 OAC) took home a 74-70 victory after defeating the Student Princes (8-9, 4-6) on December 8 in Westerville, 82-61.
The Student Princes were led by a dominant performance by Aianna Wilson who filled the box score with 14 points on 80% shooting, a career-high eight assists, two rebounds, and one steal.
Wilson's eight assists marked the highest total by a Student Prince since January, 28, 2015, when Paige Ricketts tallied eight in a home overtime win vs. John Carroll University.
After starting in a 4-0 hole, the Student Princes battled back on a 10-2 run, capped off on a wide-open 3-pointer in the corner by Alyssa Riley. A brief Otterbein spell forced a Berg timeout. Out of the timeout, both teams saw success shooting the ball, but the momentum fell in favor of Heidelberg.
With 48 seconds remaining in the first period, Dani Kissel hit a layup to give the Cardinals what seemed to be a one-point advantage at the first intermission. However, after an offensive foul was called on Otterbein, the Berg had one final possession to retake the lead. Aianna Wilson took a feed from Mattie Overmyer and hit a contested 3-ball at the buzzer to spark the bench heading to the second period.
Much of the same transpired across the second quarter for both teams. Heidelberg and Otterbein each shot an even 42% from the floor as each saw time in control of the period. The three-point Otterbein halftime advantage came courtesy of 13-5 run to end the stanza.
Alyssa Riley regained her offensive touch during the first half as she poured in 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
After Otterbein added on to their halftime lead with a quick start to the third quarter, a short slew of empty possessions led to the Cardinals building out their largest lead of the game at nine points. Heidelberg narrowed the gap carried by a five-point push by Alli Adelsperger. A layup followed up by a three-point-play was all they needed to spark some momentum.
However, as both teams exchanged baskets, Otterbein took advantage of a late Berg turnover and extended their lead to seven at the buzzer.
With six minutes remaining in the fourth, Heidelberg was down by four. On back-to-back possessions, Aianna Wilson drew the attention of the Cardinals' defense before finding Brittanie Ulmer who connected on 3-pointers both times. The plays put the Student Princes ahead by two with just over four minutes to play.
A quick six-point run put Otterbein back in control. However, on the Berg's next possession, Maddy Crawford put back a deflected Heidelberg shot opportunity to give them hope with just under a minute left to play.
On the other end of the floor, Abbie Scholz collected a put-back layup of her own with just eight seconds remaining to ice the four point victory for Otterbein.
In a battle of the glass, Heidelberg held the upper hand with 36 total rebounds compared to Otterbein's 31. The Cardinals slightly edge HU on the offensive rebounding 12-11, but the Berg used their second-chance opportunities to add 14 points.
Four Cardinals hit double-digits in scoring, led by OAC top scorer Dani Kissel's 25. Ali Cartnal (19), Abbie Scholz (14), and Angelia Jackson (11) aided Otterbein's fairly balanced offense.
With their game falling on a Friday, the Berg will have an extra day to prepare for their upcoming mid-week trip to Baldwin Wallace University. Tip off in Berea is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. Heidelberg was defeated by then No. 24 BW at home earlier this season, 74-64.