Hiram (8-2, 3-2) is off to its best start in school history and got above .500 in league play after victories against Wooster (1-7, 0-3) and Allegheny (1-8, 0-4) last week. DePauw (8-1, 4-0) and Ohio Wesleyan (3-4, 1-0) are the lone teams with unblemished league records going into the Holiday Break. This week features a light schedule with just two conference contests as Ohio Wesleyan visits Denison (3-7, 2-1) on Wednesday and Kenyon (6-3, 2-1) travels to OWU Saturday.
ALLEGHENY fell in both NCAC battles last week. Emily Smith (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South) and Maia Joiner (Pittsburgh, PA/Vincentian Academy) had 11 points apiece for the Gators at Kenyon to lead the offense. At home against Hiram, Olivia Barkley (Elizabeth, PA/Elizabeth Forward) put up 19 points to lead the way.
DENISON went 1-1 last week as they fell to Oberlin, 51-46, but rebounded with a road victory against Wittenberg, 43-41. In their matchup against Oberlin, Denison’s Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon) paced the team with 14 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. In a strong defensive effort on the road, the Big Red held the Tigers to 30% shooting from the field and caused 21 turnovers. Freshman Alison Schafer (Columbia Station, OH/Columbia) led all Big Red scorers with 13 points.
DEPAUW moved its win streak to five with a pair of NCAC wins. For the week, the Tigers held the opponents to 24.6 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded them 51.5-33.0. Senior Claire Ryan (Chicago, IL/Marist) scored a career-high 20 points in the Wittenberg win and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds at Wooster along with 18 points for her first career double-double.
HIRAM has now posted its best start to a season in program history (8-2) after winning a pair of NCAC games last week. Additionally, Hiram pushed over the .500 mark in conference play, now sitting at 3-2. The Terriers used big second-half performances in both victories, scoring 45 points in the final two quarters against Wooster, and posting 40 in the second half at Allegheny. In the victory over the Scots, Mercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Ponitz Career Technology Center) led the way, posting her first double-double of the season with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Jones once again tallied 25 in the win over Allegheny, while adding nine rebounds. The Terriers outrebounded the Gators 52-36 in the win, including a career-high 14 boards from sophomore Erica Johnson (Salem, OH/West Branch).
KENYON moved its record to 6-3 last week with a win against Allegheny and loss to Case. Kenyon has shown to be one of the best defensive teams in the country so far as the Ladies came into the week 10th in scoring defense and seventh in field goal percentage defense. Additionally, within the NCAC, they are the only team to have five players ranked in the top 30 in scoring.
OBERLIN used a big second half to come from behind to beat Denison, 51-46, on the road last Wednesday. However, the Yeowomen suffered their first conference blemish of the season, dropping a 78-77 overtime heartbreaker at Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. Three players had career-high scoring efforts in the setback, including sophomore Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) who hit for a team-high 20 in the loss.
A buzzer-beating basket by senior post Taylor Dickinson (Baltimore, OH/Liberty Union) lifted OHIO WESLEYAN win over Oberlin in a nailbiting overtime period on Saturday afternoon. Junior wing Trischa Lacy (Urbana, OH/Urbana) hit a three-pointer to kick off a 10-0 Ohio Wesleyan run that wiped out a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit, then buried a three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation time, sending the game into overtime. Oberlin took the lead, 77-76, with eight seconds remaining, and Dickson got the ball, dribbled to her right, and banked in a shot from the free-throw line to give the Bishops the win. Senior guard Megan Kuether (Osgood, OH/Marion Local) led the Bishops with 21 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Dickson followed with 16 points, freshman post Elea Karras (Bellbrook, OH/Miami Valley) put up 14 points, Lacy finished with 13 points and shared the team lead with six boards.
WITTENBERG dropped a pair of NCAC contests last week, falling to DePauw on Wednesday and Denison on Saturday. Freshman Lexie Perry (South Charleston, OH/Southeastern) led the way offensively on the week averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game.
Senior Rachel Collins (Westlake, OH/Westlake) sparked WOOSTER'S offense with 10 points off of the bench on Saturday, including five quick ones in the second period that came on consecutive possessions. On Wednesday, Wooster controlled the tempo early led with blocks by freshman Cat Fiorito (Goshen, KY/North Oldham) and senior Natalie Coschigano (The Plains, OH/Athens) as the Fighting Scots led the Terriers 18-8 after one period of play, but Hiram ultimately prevailed, 72-60.