Six North Coast squads sit at .500 or better in the conference standings as we approach the midway portion of the league schedule. DePauw (15-1, 8-0) continues to lead the NCAC in large part due to balanced scoring and a defense that has held conference opponents to just 51.5 points per game. Ohio Wesleyan (9-7, 5-1) currently sits in second, while Wittenberg (12-5, 4-3), Allegheny (11-5, 4-3), Denison (8-8, 4-3) and Oberlin (8-8, 4-3) are tied for third in the conference standings. NCAC play continues this week with four tilts scheduled on both Wednesday and Saturday.
ALLEGHENY saw its home winning streak snapped in an intense battle against Denison, 65-68, on Saturday at the David V. Wise Center. The Gators had three score in double digits, led by junior Emma Pellicano (Pittsburgh, PA/Mount Lebanon), who led the team with 19 points. Senior Kendall Hoffman (Pittsburgh, PA/North Catholic) tacked on 17 points, while junior Jessica Mrdjenovich (Pittsburgh, PA/Oakland Catholic) scored 11. The Gators started the 2014-15 campaign with a 4-0 mark at home before Saturday’s loss.
DENISON Head Coach Sara Lee picked up her 400th career win in Saturday’s 68-65 victory at Allegheny thanks in large part to a career-high 32-point performance by sophomore Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon), which tied the fourth-best single-game performance in program history. Lee’s milestone win came exactly five years and four days after registering her 300th-career win. She is the fourth NCAC women’s basketball coach to reach the 400-win plateau, joining DePauw coach Kris Hoffman, current Denison Athletic Director and former OWU coach Nan Carney-DeBord, and former Wittenberg coach Pam Smith.
DEPAUW, ranked 12th in the latest coaches’ poll and 13th by D3hoops.com, extended its win streak to 12-straight with a pair of road wins over Wittenberg and Ohio Wesleyan last week. Senior Savannah Trees (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) averaged 22.0 points in the two games, including an 18.0 average in the second halves. She scored all 20 of her points against Wittenberg in the second half, including the final six to win the game.
HIRAM fell against Ohio Wesleyan at home on Wednesday. Freshman Mercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Ponitz Career Technology Center) led the Terriers with a team-high 16 points. She also added six rebounds. Senior Taylor Ratliff (Berea, OH/Columbia) also added 15 points.
KENYON won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month as the Ladies knocked off Denison and Wooster. In the two wins, the Ladies held their opponents to an average of 32% shooting. Sophomore guard Bailey Dominguez (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) led the Ladies on the week by averaging 13.5 points, including a season-high 16 in the win over Denison.
OBERLIN turned in a 1-1 week, first taking down Wooster, 89-67, before putting up a good fight in a 71-61 loss at Wittenberg. In the win over the Scots, Christina Marquette (Huntington Beach, CA/Edison) was two points shy of a career-best as she poured in a season-high 33 points, while teammate Lindsey Bernhardt (Miami, FL/Ransom Everglades School) scored 15 of her 20 points in the second half.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of conference games last week, knocking off Hiram, 81-65, before falling to DePauw, 68-53. In the win over Hiram, sophomore post Taylor Dickson (Baltimore, OH/Liberty Union) led the Bishops with 18 points, while senior guard Kristin Henning (Beavercreek, OH/Beavercreek) finished with 15.
WITTENBERG split last week, winning 71-61 against Oberlin after falling to DePauw, 63-54, in a midweek contest. Senior Katelyn Haralamos (Maineville, OH/Kings) dropped 24 points on Oberlin to tie a career-high, and added six rebounds and three assists. She finished the week by averaging 19 points on 56 percent shooting after scoring 14 against DePauw. Senior Darbie Zirkle (St. Paris, Ohio/Graham) had an especially well-rounded line for the week with 21 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals across the two games.
WOOSTER dropped a pair of games last week, falling to Oberlin, 89-67, after leading, 44-43, four minutes into the second half and to Kenyon, 65-52, despite being a seven-point game during the final minute. Junior forward Lauren Hancher (Cincinnati, OH/Sycamore) scored a career-high 30 points - the sixth player in team history to reach the 30-point mark - on 12-of-22 field goals and 6-of-6 free throws at Oberlin, then added 10 points, despite being in foul trouble against Kenyon. She also matched a career-high with eight rebounds during the Kenyon game.