Ladies basketball rallied around their senior leadership to pick up a 62-59 win in the closing seconds of Saturday’s game against Ohio Wesleyan University. The victory was their sixth-straight in conference play.
Following the pregame ceremony honoring seniors Molly Rubin and Shelby Gray, the Ladies were off to a slow start. Ohio Wesleyan University out-rebounded Kenyon in the first half but failed to make second chances pay off, allowing the Ladies to go on a 7-0 run to end the first half and cutting the Battling Bishops’ lead to 29-24 at halftime. Halfway through the third, the Ladies regained the lead for the first time since the first quarter, following makes from Bailey Dominguez ’17 and Hannah O’Day ’19. The score remained tight until the final minute, when Dominguez hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 59. The Ladies regained possession and Sidney Cera ’17 and Lane Davis ’19 hit three free throws in the final 15 seconds, giving the Ladies only their third lead of the game and sealing the three-point win.
Dominguez’s successful long-range shooting at key times helped secure the victory. She hit five 3-pointers and lead the team with 17 points. Strong contributions from the Ladies’ bench allowed them to outscore the OWU bench 29-0. Davis, O’Day and Hull combined to score 22 points off the bench. “They’ve come so far in developing that confidence and I see them being great leaders in the future,” Rubin said, expressing pride in the youngest members of the team.
It is that confidence and consistency that has been propelling the Ladies through this win streak. “Throughout the game it was clear that we knew we were going to win. There wasn’t a doubt in any of our minds,” Gray said. “Everyone recognizes how much of a chance we have this year,” Rubin said. The two seniors hope to keep confidence high to drive toward their goal of a conference title.
Head Coach Suzanne Helfant warned of the possible downsides to the high spirits the team came into the game with. “We came into this game thinking that we were going to win, thinking that it was going to be a matter of just going out and playing,” Helfant said. This complacency seemed to explain the Ladies’ slow first half. “We were getting out-hustled too much,” she said. “They were playing harder than we were.”
“It’s about us playing together,” Rubin added. “If we all realize that every one of us has the power to contribute on this team, then we have just as good of a chance as anyone else.” Following a home loss (39-25) Wednesday evening against Denison University (20-3; NCAC 13-1), the Ladies’ record now stands at 15-7 and 8-4 in conference play. The team will continue its conference-title challenge against second-in-the-con DePauw University (16-6; NCAC 10-3) on Feb. 13 in Greencastle, Ind.