Senior Ja'Cole Tabor continued her stellar play Friday, but it ultimately wasn't enough as the Wilmington College women's basketball team fell to Illinois Wesleyan in their final non-conference game of the season at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court.
Tabor (Dayton, OH/Chaminade Julienne) brought much needed energy and toughness as the Fightin' Quakers were struggling coming off a week-long break. She tied a career-high with 11 points in 26minutes with a career-high seven assists and four rebounds.
"Ja'Cole was simply tremendous today," said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve.
It looked as her contributions would guide Wilmington to another victory, but the Titans turned to a press than enabled them open up a double-digit halftime lead. Illinois Wesleyan's full court pressure sped WC up and forced several uncharacteristic turnovers. Wilmington finished with a season-high 23 miscues.
Holding a nine-point lead with 4:23, the Fightin' Quakers had control. The Titans closed the game on a 14-3 run to steal the victory.
Things looked bleak in the first half as Wilmington looked a tad discombobulated playing for the first time since December 23. The shots weren't falling as WC was 1-of-11 from long range over the first 20 minutes, and connected on just 20 percent in the first quarter. WC started to heat up in the second quarter, and it carried over into the third.
Wilmington dominated coming out of the locker room, dissecting the IWU defense to the tune of 76.5 percent shooting (13-of-17).
Senior Brittaney Jefferson (Dayton, OH/Chaminade Julienne) and sophomore Mackenzie Campbell (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) scored 21 points each for the Fightin' Quakers. Jefferson added five steals, four rebounds and three assists, while Campbell contributed seven boards, three assists and two steals.
Senior Mary Moyer (Martinsville, OH/Clinton Massie), the league's leading rebounder, pulled down 14 rebounds to help Wilmington to a plus-two edge on the glass.
"I was really proud of my team today," said Scheve. "I think this was the best team we have played all year, and we have seen some pretty good ones. What I wanted our non-conference schedule to do was get us ready for our league. I wanted it to get us ready for the self believe that we can play with anybody, and it has done both things."
Wilmington (7-4 overall, 3-1 OAC) travels to Capital 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to resume Ohio Athletic Conference action.