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Big First Quarter Gives Women's Basketball Road Win at Muskingum

Photo by John Swartzel
Photo by John Swartzel

NEW CONCORD, Ohio - The Wilmington College women's basketball team never trailed in a 68-61 victory over Muskingum University in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action on Wednesday evening.

Neither team scored for the first four-and-a-half minutes until a layup from Mackenzie Campbell broke the scoreless deadlock with a basket at the 5:39 mark. Muskingum would tie the game with an offensive put back on the next possession, but the Fightin' Quakers' defense would allow the Fighting Muskies just one more field goal in the first quarter as the hosts finished the first 10 minutes 2-of-21 from the field.

Hannah Binkley provided the Wilmington offense with a spark as she scored 10 of the team's 14 first-quarter points. The Quakers, who led by nine points after the first quarter, continued to hold the lead despite Olivia Besancon's eight points in the early stages of the second quarter. A Kelly Noll layup gave Wilmington a double-digit lead (26-16) at the 3:51 mark, but a 9-2 run from the Muskies cut the deficit to a single possession. Brooke Davis ended the half on a bright note for the visitors as she took a Faith Teaford pass and nailed a jumper with two seconds left.

Wilmington, which led 30-25 at halftime, would see its lead grow to double digits once again as Emily Harman put the Quakers on top 40-29 at the 6:39 mark. The Muskies battled back, however, as a layup three minutes later put the hosts down just two (42-40). The Quakers ended the quarter by scoring six of the last nine points including a Noll triple and a Teaford layup to take the five-point edge into the final period.

Muskingum got within a single point on two occasions early in the fourth quarter, but a 7-0 run from Wilmington started by a three-pointer from Savannah Hooper put the Quakers ahead by eight. Alexandra Carson tried to get the Muskies back in it with a basket, but a Campbell three-pointer on the ensuing possession put the game out of reach.

"It was a good team effort tonight," Head Women's Basketball Coach Jerry Scheve said. "We played hard and make big shots when we needed to."

Wilmington finished 27-of-66 (40.9 percent) from the field compared to 22-of-71 (31.0 percent) for Muskingum. The Quakers also held a 53-38 rebounding advantage and dished out 16 assists.

Campbell led Wilmington individually with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds. Harman came one rebound short of a double-double (10 points and nine boards) while Hannah Binkley and Hooper both scored a dozen points.

"Hannah [Binkley] gave us a huge lift off the bench in the first half," said Scheve. "Savannah [Hooper], Mackenzie [Campbell] and Emily [Harman] played like you expect your veterans to play."

Besancon, who was held to just three points on a 1-for-15 shooting night in Muskingum's 63-49 loss at Wilmington on Jan. 10, led the Muskies in defeat with 26 points on 10-of-27 shooting on Wednesday evening.

Wilmington (10-10, 5-8 OAC) host John Carroll University for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday.