Four North Coast women’s basketball squads sit at .500 or better in the conference standings as we approach the midway portion of the league schedule. DePauw (16-1, 8-0) continues to lead the NCAC in large part due to balanced scoring and a defense that has held conference opponents to just 48.5 points per game. Kenyon (12-5, 6-2) currently sits in second, while Denison (8-8, 5-2) is in third and Hiram (13-4, 5-3) is in fourth. NCAC play continues this week with four tilts scheduled on Wednesday and three on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY picked up its first NCAC win of the year against Wooster, 73-64. Olivia Barkley (Elizabeth, PA/Elizabeth Forward) led Allegheny with 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Gators fell on the road Saturday to OWU. Emily Smith (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South) led the Gators with 14 points.
DENISON fell in its only game last week as they took the 17th-ranked DePauw Tigers to double overtime. In the 63-50 loss, the Big Red held DePauw to 31 percent shooting. Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon) led the Big Red with 12 points, seven blocks and eight rebounds. Off the bench, Gabriel Nottage (Evanston, IL/Evanston Township) contributed with seven points. The loss snapped Denison’s six-game winning streak.
DEPAUW, ranked 17th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, extended its win streak to 13 with a pair of wins last week. Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) averaged 11.5 points for the week, while Claire Ryan (Chicago, IL/Marist) followed with 11.0 points. Blair Carlin (Cincinnati, OH/Mount Notre Dame) notched a career-high 16 and grabbed a career-best six rebounds in the win over Oberlin.
HIRAM set a new program standard with its 13th win of the season in a 65-63 victory over Ohio Wesleyan. The record broke the program’s previous mark of 12, which was shared by teams from 2015-16, 2010-11 and 1987-88. In the win over the Bishops, Kaylee Shockley (Uniontown, OH/Lake) and Mercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Ponitz Career Technology Center) paced Hiram with 18 points each. Hiram also forced 15 Bishop turnovers which led to 20 points. The Terriers finished the week with a loss at Kenyon. Shockley once again led the team, posting a game-high 15 points.
KENYON is on a three-game winning streak after victories against John Carroll, Oberlin and Hiram last week. Kenyon is 12-5 this year and boast the nation’s 30th-best scoring defense (51 ppg) and seventh-best field goal percentage defense (30.4). Jessica Gerber (Newton, PA/Council Rock North) has been on a tear recently as last week she led the team in points-per-game (10.5), field goal (54.5) and three-point (50.0) percentage. Furthermore, in the last seven games, she is shooting over 43 percent from both the field and three-point line.
OBERLIN scored just 12 second-half points in a 42-31 loss to Kenyon last week. Against No. 17 DePauw, sophomore Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) led the Yeowomen effort with 15 points in the 66-41 setback.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of NCAC contests last week, narrowly falling to Hiram, before bouncing back to defeat Allegheny on Saturday, 76-62. Senior guard Megan Kuether (Osgood, OH/Marion Local) led the Bishops with 13 points and four assists in the win. For the Week, Kuether scored 38 points, collected 13 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.
WITTENBERG won its lone contest last week, defeating Wooster, 59-48, behind an impressive 22-point performance from sophomore Alex Kiess (Edon, OH/Northwest). Kiess added three rebounds, four steals and three assists on the night. The Tigers outrebounded Wooster, 47-28, and outscored Wooster, 20-18, in the paint.
WOOSTER freshman Kylie Orr (Newport, KY/Newport) continued to provide big contributions off of the bench last week for the Fighting Scots with 13 points in a 73-64 loss at Allegheny and 12 points in a 59-48 setback at Wittenberg. Over her last five games, Orr is averaging 13.2 points-per-game.