TIFFIN -- A sluggish start set the tone for the Heidelberg University women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon as they fell at home to the University of Mount Union by a final score of 62-46.
With the loss, the Berg dropped to 9-14 overall and 5-11 in conference play. The Purple Raiders improved to 17-6 overall and 10-6 in the OAC.
The Student Princes were led by Maddy Crawford's near double-double during the Saturday afternoon matinee. Crawford collected nine points, 11 rebounds, and added four blocks to her league lead in that category.
The Student Princes found themselves in another challenging start, as it took 2:48 to find the basket. A 3-pointer by Alyssa Riley got the offense going, but another two minutes of scoreless basketball ensued.
Defensive efforts kept Heidelberg in the game across the early stages, but the struggle offensively continued. As the quarter ensued, Mount extended their lead to as many as 10, but an layup as time expired by Alli Adelsperger gave HU a bit of life heading to the first break.
Sparked by the momentum to start the second quarter, the Berg exploded for seven points in less than a minute to close the deficit to just one point. Sadie Chaney's injection off the bench played a part in the hot-stretch, while Brooke Beamer's five points completed the run.
The Purple Raiders finally got their scoring going in the second period, and once again, pulled away from the Berg as they closed the first half on a 12-4 run, taking a nine-point lead to the break.
Out of the half, the Student Princes started slowly. A Maddy Crawford free throw accounted for the only Berg scoring over the first five minutes of play, before Beamer connected on a 3-pointer.
Crawford began to come alive to help keep the Berg within striking distance. The junior tallied six rebounds, three points, and a blocked shot in the third quarter. Unfortunately, those efforts weren't enough to stop the Mount offense as they tacked onto their lead, closing the quarter with a 16-point edge.
Late in the fourth quarter, Tylese Noble connected on a late basket for the Student Princes to cap their scoring.
For the Purple Raiders, Tori Rappach led all scorers with a 14-point showing, while Rachel Tinkey tacked on 11 more.
The Student Princes hit the home stretch this week with just two games left in the regular season. Heidelberg will first travel to Ohio Northern University on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip off, before welcoming Marietta College on Saturday for a 3 p.m. senior day tip.