UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – Nicole Heffington poured in 29 points to lead John Carroll University to a 73-67 victory over the Wilmington College women's basketball team in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action on Saturday afternoon.
Heffington scored two of the Blue Streaks' first three baskets to give the hosts an 7-2 lead in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the first quarter. Wilmington answered with a 7-0 run fueled by two layups from Emily Harman and a three-pointer from Kelly Noll.
John Carroll would lead by as many has seven (16-9) in the first quarter, but a three-pointer and a free throw from Hannah Binkley cut the Fightin' Quakers' deficit to three points after 10 minutes.
Midway through the second quarter, another three-pointer from Hannah Binkley broke a 20-20 deadlock to give Wilmington a three-point lead. The Blue Streaks doubled up the Quakers over the final 5:31, however, as John Carroll scored 18 points to Wilmington's nine to take a 38-32 lead into halftime.
Savannah Hooper, who ended the first half with a basket, opened the second half with a layup to get the visitors within four (38-34), but Wilmington was on the wrong end of a 12-4 run over the next five minutes as John Carroll led 57-44 after three quarters.
The Blue Streaks' lead ballooned to 17 (65-48) midway through the fourth quarter, but the Quakers rallied to within four points (68-64) as a Michelle Lee layup fell through with 1:05 to play in regulation. Wilmington could not get closer, however, as John Carroll make free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Heffington led all scorers with 29 points to go along with seven rebounds for John Carroll. Abby Alder added 16 points for on 5-of-8 shooting.
Hannah Binkley led Wilmington with a career high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field to go along with 3-of-3 on triple tries. Mackenzie Campbell and Hooper both scored 15 points while Harman had 10 points and Faith Teaford grabbed eight rebounds.
"Hannah Binkley gave us a big lift tonight," Head Women's Basketball Coach Jerry Scheve said.
Wilmington made five more field goals than John Carroll, but the Blue Streaks made 11-of-19 attempts (57.9 percent) from three-point range despite coming into the game shooting 26.1 percent from distance. John Carroll also held a 14-2 edge in free throws made.
The Quakers (8-7, 3-5 OAC) conclude the first round of conference play by hosting Otterbein University on Wednesday. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.