BEXLEY, Ohio - The Wilmington College women's basketball team used a 37-22 rebounding advantage that included 19 offensive rebounds to open the New Year with a 61-56 win at Capital University in an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) played on Wednesday evening.
The victory was the Fightin' Quakers' first at Capital in a dozen tries dating back to 66-60 win on Jan. 30, 2013.
The start from Wilmington is what proved to be the difference in the game. Brooke Davis and Haley Cook both scored twice while the defense held Capital to just 2-of-9 from the field to take a 13-5 lead after 10 minutes. A Davis triple midway through the second quarter put the visitors up 23-10, but the hosts ended the half scoring on 6-of-7 possessions totaling 14 points to pull within eight (32-24) at halftime.
Capital promptly scored the first six points of the third quarter, and after a defensive stop, had a chance to tie the game or take the lead down 32-30, but couldn't convert. Zahrya Bailey answered with four straight points to ensure the Comets wouldn't get the ball back with a chance to tie it. Kenzie Campbell ended the period with a triple, pushing the WC advantage to 45-36 with 10 minutes to play.
Another Campbell triple three-and-a-half minutes into the fourth quarter put the Quakers up double digits (53-44), but the Comets wouldn't go away. A 10-0 run capped by a Brooke Ommert layup at the 2:36 mark was answered by a Cook baseline jumper to make the score 55-52. Both teams had two chances to score which included two Capital missed free throws, but the Comets looked to force a shot clock violation as Campbell's triple with the shot clock running out was blocked. Wilmington the visited the only bank open in Bexley on a weeknight at around 8:50 p.m. as Kennedy Lewis's long-distance heave kissed off the glass and in.
Down six, Capital made two free throws, forced a turnover and made two more to get within 58-56 with 26 seconds left. Lewis was fouled and made 1-of-2, giving the Comets the ball back trailing by three. After two timeouts, Laney Murphy got a decent look from the top of the arc, but her triple went off front iron. Lewis corralled the rebound, was fouled, and sealed the game with two free throws.
Capital shot 10 percentage points better than Wilmington from the floor, but the Quakers took 20 more shots (65-45) and made two more (22-20). Both teams struggled from distance shooting under 25 percent while the Comets had a 13-11 edge in made free throws. The hosts couldn't overcome the rebounding deficit as 19 offensive rebounds for WC resulted in 15 second-chance points.
Individually, a trio of Quakers - Campbell, Lewis and Cook - scored in double figures while Bailey and Cook both finished with eight rebounds. Lewis had six of the team's 11 assists. For the Comets, Ommert, Maddi Weiland and Murphy scored in double figures in defeat.
Wilmington (6-6, 2-3 OAC) heads to nationally-ranked Marietta College on Saturday. Tip-off from Ban Johnson Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m.