TIFFIN – Junior Savannah Hooper scored 11 of her career-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Wilmington College women's basketball team came back for the 77-64 Ohio Athletic Conference victory over Heidelberg at Seiberling Gymnasium Saturday.
She had eight of Wilmington's points during the game-changing 13-3 run to start the fourth quarter, turning a three-point deficit into a seven-point lead.
"I am pleased with how we stepped up to finish the game as team, and with Savannah Hooper hitting some big shots to help us build a comfortable lead," said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. "It was a game we had to shoot the ball well. We had a problem stopping them, so we had to make shots on the other end.
"Any time we come to Heidelberg, we know it's going to be a tough game," Scheve continued. "What was unusual was we got off to a good start offensively."
Wilmington came out of the gates, shooting 50 percent from the field, and holding the Student Princes to a dismal 27.3 percent (3-of-11).
This changed in the middle two quarters as Heidelberg found its offensive rhythm, shooting 46.6 percent (14-of-30) over the middle 20 minutes. While Wilmington was struggling on the defensive end, sophomore Mackenzie Campbell (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) was allowing the Fightin' Quakers to maintain their lead.
"They really had the momentum in the third quarter, and she made some key baskets to enable us to hold onto our small lead," said Scheve. "On the offensive end, she was very good today; rebounding the ball and getting assists."
Despite her best efforts, Heidelberg closed the half with nine straight to take the three-point lead heading into the final quarter.
Enter Hooper, and Wilmington escapes with victory.
Campbell finished with a career-high 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
Hooper connected on five three-pointers in seven attempts, and finished with 17. The five long-range connections were the most by any Wilmington player since the 2007-08 season. Senior Brittaney Jefferson (Dayton, OH/Chaminade Julienne) added 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.
Senior Mary Moyer (Martinsville, OH/Clinton Massie), the league's leading rebounder, finished with a game-high 10 points.
Scheve also noted the play of junior Emily Smith (Bellbrook, OH/Bellbrook), who finished with a season-high six points in a season-high 20 minutes.
Wilmington (12-5 overall, 8-2 OAC) returns home to face #11 Ohio Northern (17-0 overall, 10-0 OAC) 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in a battle of the top two OAC teams. The Polar Bears were 78-51 winners on December 7th.