Sizzling starts to kick off each half enabled the Wilmington College women's basketball team to post the 79-51 victory over Olivet Friday in the first game of the 2016 Damon's/Hampton Inn Tip-Off Tournament in Fred Raizk Arena at Hermann Court.
Wilmington tallied the 16 of the game's first 18 points, and added a 20-7 run in the third quarter to cruise to the win. Between those runs, however, the Fightin' Quakers allowed the visitors to make a run. Olivet pulled to within five in the second quarter, partially thanks to WC's inability to maintain its blustery shooting.
The Fightin' Quakers connected on four of their first five three-pointers in opening up the 15-point bulge, but missed 12 straight to end the first half.
"I thought we started settling (for three-pointers) four minutes into the game," said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. "On the other, we are going to shoot shots when open. What was bad was we didn't go after offensive rebounds. If you are going to miss shots, you have to do something. We are not going to stop taking open shots, we just have to get some offensive put backs if we miss."
With the opening spurt in the second half, the key, just like the rest of the game – was Wilmington's willingness to share. The Fightin' Quakers dished out 25 assists on 32 made shots. Senior Ashley Andracki (Columbus, OH/Bishop Watterson) led the team with five assists, while sophomore De'Jah Locke (Cincinnati, OH/Mother of Mercy) added four. Ten players recorded at least one assist in the game.
The 25 assists are the most since WC dished out 21 three games into the 2014-15 season, and just the fourth time in the last six years, Wilmington has recorded at least 20 assists.
"That is probably the best stat on here," said Scheve. "We are passing the ball and making some shots."
For all of the good things that the Fightin' Quakers were able to accomplish Friday, Scheve wasn't happy with the team's defensive performance. While the Comets shot just 27.9 percent (19-of-68) from the first, they were able to get some quality looks.
"Defense was our problem tonight," said Scheve. "We were very poor defensively. WE had no scouting report on this team. It's their first game under a new coach. But that shouldn't matter. We were giving up way too many things, especially in the first half."
Sophomore Mackenzie Campbell (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) led the team with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Senior Mary Moyer (Martinsville, OH/Clinton-Massie) recorded the eighth double-double of her career, and the first of the season, with 10 points and 12 rebounds – 11 on the defensive end. She added three assists and one block.
Freshman Samantha Murphy (Fayetteville, OH/Fayetteville Perry) took advantage of her limited minutes to score a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting in five minutes.
Wilmington (2-0) advances to play No. 18 Carnegie Mellon 3 p.m. Saturday. The Tartans dispatched Transylvania in the second game, 80-60. Transylvania plays Olivet 1 p.m. Saturday in the opening game.