WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College women's basketball team outscored North Central College 34-15 in the fourth quarter to complete a 15-point comeback and defeat the Cardinals 74-70 in game one of the 2018 Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament on Saturday.
North Central (1-2) jumped on Wilmington early as the visitors poured in three triples to take a 17-5 lead six minutes into the game. The Quakers would get back within one (26-25) on a three-point from Faith Teaford early in the second quarter. The Cardinals would hold the hosts to just six points over the final eight minutes of the first half and took a 41-31 lead into halftime.
Another Teaford three-pointer with 6:31 to play in the third got Wilmington within seven (43-36), but once again, North Central ended the quarter on a 12-4 run and led 55-40 after three quarters.
The came the Wilmington comeback. Head Coach Jerry Scheve elected to employ full-court pressure that ended up forcing seven of North Central's 11 turnovers in the final quarter. A Hannah Binkley triple cut the score to 57-45 at the 7:49 mark, and two free throws from Michelle Lee and a triple from Kelly Noll got the Quakers within seven. A Hannah Vitkus layup that followed put the Cardinals up 59-50 with 3:29 to play, however.
A North Central turnover turned into to Noll free throws at the 3:00 mark, but the Lyndsay Brennan answered with two free throws of her own. Noll and Vitkus hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions followed, but a triple from Kennedy Lewis pulled Wilmington within four (64-60) at the 2:01 mark. McKayla Binkley then stole the inbounds pass and found sister Hannah who was fouled.
Hannah Binkley made both free throws, but another Vitkus triple put North Central ahead 67-62 with 90 seconds left. Hannah Binkley converted 1-of-2 free throws on the ensuing possession and after a Cardinal turnover, Noll hit yet another triple cut the visitor lead to 67-66 with 43 seconds left. North Central Head Coach Maggie McCloskey-Bax called timeout and elected to advance the ball over half court.
Then came the play of the game. Lewis picked off the inbounds pass and hit a layup in transition putting Wilmington ahead 68-67. A missed three-pointer from Maya Walls on the next possession forced the Cardinals to foul. Savannah Hooper hit 1-of-2 free throws, but an offensive rebound from Noll led to two more free throws for the Quakers, putting the hosts on top 71-67.
The Cardinals did not bow out, however, as Alanna Newsome hit a long-distance jumper cutting the lead to one (71-70), but after two made free throws from Lewis, North Central elected to try for the quick layup. Allison Pearson's attempt was missed and rebounded by Hannah Binkley, who made the first free throw to seal the comeback victory.
North Central finished with more made field goals (26-24) as well as shooting for a higher percentage than Wilmington (38.2-37.5). The Cardinals also made four more three-pointers (13-9), but the Quakers held a 17-5 edge in free throws made as well as a 50-36 rebounding edge.
Noll led all scorers with 17 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter, to go along with nine rebounds. Lewis added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists while Teaford turned in a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Hannah Binkley also finished in double figures in scoring with 11 points off the bench.
A quintet of Cardinals – Brennan, Walls, Vitkus, Pearson and Newsome – all finished between 10 and 12 points in defeat.
Wilmington (2-1) hosts Hanover College, which defeated Centre College 50-37, in the tournament championship at 3 p.m. on Sunday. North Central and Centre will play in the consolation at 1 p.m.