Three 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 46.9 points per game. Kenyon (14-3, 7-1) currently sits in second and Oberlin (8-6, 6-2) is in third. NCAC play continues this week with four tilts scheduled on Wednesday and three on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY went 1-1 last week in a pair of home games. On Wednesday, the Gators fell to Wooster on a pair of last second free-throws. Delaney Arbore (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) scored 26 points, while Rylee Donovan (Glenshaw, PA/Shaler Area) had nine rebounds. On Saturday, the Gators overcame an early deficit to defeat OWU. Arbore led the Gators with 16 points while Julianna Skowron (Sewickly, PA/Oakland Catholic) had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
DENISON lost its only game of the week, 62-48, to No. 9 DePauw on Wednesday night in Granville. The Big Red were paced by senior Brittany Atkinson (Granville, OH/Granville) and sophomore Lauren Longbrake (Groveport, OH/Hamilton Twp.) who combined for 28 points, four rebounds and four assists.
DEPAUW, ranked ninth in the most recent WBCA coaches poll, extended its win streak to 12 with a pair of wins. DePauw held its two opponents to just 31.8 percent shooting, 12.5 percent 3-pt shooting (3-24) and outrebounded them by a 48.0-28.0 average. In the two wins, the Tigers outscored the opponents by a combined 39-12 in the first quarter. Melinda Franke (Warrenville, IL/Wheaton Warrenville South) averaged 11.5 rebounds for the week, including a career-high 13 against Denison for her first collegiate double-double. Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South) posted her first collegiate double-double at Oberlin with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
HIRAM split a pair of conference tilts last week, taking down Ohio Wesleyan, before falling on the road to Kenyon. In the victory over the Bishops, senior Allison Vannoy (Mantua, OH/Crestwood) helped clinch the victory for Hiram, turning OWU away with a steal with under 30 seconds to play, and knocking down three free throws for the win. She finished the game with 11 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists. Junior Bri Burgos (Chippewa Lake, OH/Cloverleaf) led all Terrier scorers with 12, while Erica Johnson (Salem, OH/West Branch) contributed her second-career double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Vannoy added five more assists to her totals against the Ladies, and is now just 43 shy of the Hiram career record of 394, held by Kelsey Durichko.
KENYON picked up a couple more conference wins to run its overall record to 14-3 and its NCAC record to 7-1. Wednesday, the Ladies used 20 points and seven rebounds from Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/Pickerington North) to post a 71-61 win at Oberlin. Saturday, Matijasich tallied 14 points and six rebounds in a 62-34 home win over Hiram.
OBERLIN suffered its first league losses of the season, falling 71-61 to Kenyon, before dropping a 53-40 decision to No. 9 DePauw. However, the Yeowomen did their job defensively, holding the Tigers to season lows in points (53) and field goal percentage (29.8%). Sophomore Maggie Gross (Binghamton, NY/ Chenango Valley) netted a career-high 10 points in the loss to DePauw.
OHIO WESLEYAN lost a pair of NCAC contests last week, falling to Hiram on Wednesday and Allegheny Saturday. Sophomore guard Claire Sterling (West Jefferson, OH/West Jefferson) led the Bishops on the week with 34 points, including a 20-point performance in the loss to Hiram.
WITTENBERG snapped a three game slide, defeating Wooster, 71-63, on the road Saturday night. Abigail Crum (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington) scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench to lead the Tigers to victory.
WOOSTER split a pair of NCAC contests last week, falling to Wittenberg and knocking-off Allegheny, 62-60, on Wednesday. Junior Anna Gibbs (Gahanna, OH/Westerville North) connected on a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining on the clock to secure the victory over the Gators. Kylie Orr (Newport, KY/Newport) led the Scots with 15 points off the bench to lead Wooster to its second consecutive conference road win for the first time since the 1999-00 season.