The NCAC posted a combined record of 8-7 on the opening weekend of the 2014-15 women’s basketball season. This coming week features a full slate of non-conference games with the first conference games scheduled for December 3rd as Allegheny travels to Hiram, Wittenberg travels to Ohio Wesleyan and Oberlin hosts Denison.
ALLEGHENY raced to the Third Annual Greg Richards ‘08 Memorial Tip-Off Crown, upending Penn State-Altoona, 105-69, in the season opener on Saturday before taking the title, 63-45, over Case on Sunday. Junior Jessica Mrdjenovich (Pittsburgh, PA/Oakland Catholic) led the Gators offensively, going 7-of-14 from three-point range during the tournament to finish averaging 16.5 points per game. Senior Kendall Hoffman (Pittsburgh, PA/North Catholic) earned Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after averaging 7.0 points per game, adding six total steals, six total blocks and nine total rebounds over 53 total minutes. Sophomore Meaghan Wilby (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington Girls College) scored a career-high 17 points, adding a career-high nine rebounds for the Gators on Saturday. With the win over Case, head coach Kate Costanzo earned her 100th career coaching victory.
DENISON opened the 2014-15 season with a 1-1 mark at the Earlham Quaker Classic in Richmond, Indiana. The Big Red fell to NAIA Indiana University-East, 74-67, before rebounding with a 73-53 win over the host Quakers. Junior wing Kellie Arter (Lancaster, OH/Lancaster) was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 18.5 ppg and converting 48.3 percent (14-for-29) from the field. Sophomore Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon) notched her 20th career double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds against Earlham.
DEPAUW was idle last week and will open up its 2014-15 season Friday at Wisconsin Lutheran.
HIRAM topped Chatham in its home opener, 77-57. Sophomore Kayla Yost (Norwalk, OH/Perkins) had her first career double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman Mercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Ponitz Career Technology Center) added 16 points and eight rebounds, while senior Taylor Ratliff (Berea, OH/Columbia) had 14.
KENYON nearly had a perfect weekend to start 2014. The Ladies almost knocked off a talented Washington & Jefferson squad on their own home floor before closing the weekend by shutting down Penn St.-Behrend. The Ladies limited their opponents to just 32% shooting.
OBERLIN opened the season with a commanding 66-46 win against Hartwick at the Swarthmore College Tournament, but then let one slip away, relinquishing a 15-point lead in a 62-59 loss to Johnson & Wales in the tournament’s championship game. Junior center Katie Luciates (Greenwood, IN/Center Grove High School) had a career-high 17 points versus the Hawks, while classmate Lindsey Bernhardt (Miami, FL/Ransom Everglades School) poured in 24 against the Wildcats. Senior Christina Marquette (Huntington Beach, CA/Edison) was also named to the all-tournament team.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of non-conference contests this past weekend to open up the 2014-15 campaign at the Betty Abgott Invitational hosted by Buffalo State. Senior guard Sarah McQuade (Dublin, OH/Coffman) led the Bishops with 17 points, while Taylor Dickson (Baltimore, OH/Liberty Union) finished with 15 to defeat Hamilton, 61-53, before falling to host Buffalo St., 66-63, in Sunday’s championship game.
WITTENBERG opened the season with a win over annual contender Capital in front of a warm home crowd, led by a rousing performance from senior Katelyn Haralamos (Maineville, OH/Kings), who hit 6-of-8 field goals and 5-of-5 three-point goals, as well as 6-of-8 free throws for 23 points, to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The most important three-pointer of the game was provided by senior Enri Small (Columbus, OH/Columbus School for Girls), who drilled a triple with 3:38 remaining to break a 56-56 tie. Her clutch basket stopped an 8-0 run by Capital and led to six-straight points for the Tigers.
WOOSTER brought in some challenging competition for its 19th annual Nan Nichols Classic, as Adrian and Kalamazoo, both coming off winning seasons, edged the Scots 79-74 and 82-57, respectively.