WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College women's basketball team rallied from a 24-point deficit to get within five points, but Baldwin Wallace University connected on 11 three-pointers to escape Fred Raizk Arena with a 78-67 win on Saturday afternoon. Despite the loss, the Fightin' Quakers qualify for the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament for the 18th consecutive year. Wilmington, as the No. 8 seed, will travel to top-seeded Ohio Northern University for a quarterfinal round game on Tuesday evening.
BW hit seven of its first 10 three-point attempts and eventually built a 44-20 lead midway through the second quarter, forcing a timeout from Head Women's Basketball Coach Jerry Scheve. The Quakers answered with an 8-3 run to end the half capped by a free throw from Mackenzie Campbell.
The Yellow Jackets took a 49-28 edge with the opening basket of the second half, but an 11-2 run from Wilmington fueled by four points from Campbell and a Kelly Noll three-pointer got the hosts within a dozen (51-39) with 4:27 to play in the third quarter. BW would go up by 14 a minute later, but baskets from Campbell and Brooke Davis got Wilmington within nine (55-46). Unfortunately for the Quakers, the visitors hit two three-pointers to end the third quarter ahead 61-46.
BW maintained a double-digit lead until four points from Campbell and baskets from Teaford and Savannah Hooper cut the Wilmington deficit to 70-65 with 2:05 to play. The Yellow Jackets converted two free throws thanks to an offensive rebounding on the ensuring possession, but Emily Harman, playing her final collegiate game at Hermann Court, answered with a basket off a pass from Teaford.
Trailing 72-67, the Quakers were forced to foul, and the Yellow Jackets made six straight free throws to seal the win.
"We really fought back in the third quarter, but I thought a key point in the game was when they [BW] hit two threes at the end of the third quarter," Scheve said. "Our kids didn't quit and got it to five with a couple minutes left to give us a chance to win the game."
Both teams shot between 35-40 percent from the field with Wilmington making 24 baskets to BW's 23, but the Yellow Jackets made 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) shots from beyond the three-point arc while the Quakers, who won the rebounding battle 43-38, were just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from distance.
Teaford crossed the 20-point plateau for the second time this season with her career-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. She also had eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Campbell had 20 points to go along with four rebounds and three blocks.
"We wanted to push the ball inside and get to the foul line," said Scheve. "Overall, we did a pretty good job of that. Faith Teaford had the best game of her career today, and we can be pretty good if we can get that kind of performance from her consistently."
Kasey Hughes led the Yellow Jackets with 17 points while Hannah Fecht had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Though Emily Harman played her last home game as a senior, Saturday's loss will not be the last game of her career.
"Emily has been a great player for us and represent our team and our school so well." Scheve said.
Wilmington, which qualifies for the OAC Tournament for the 18th consecutive season, will face Ohio Northern at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.