The Ladies basketball season came to a sudden end on Friday night when the Ladies lost 51-40 to the Oberlin Yeowomen in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) semifinals. Kenyon and Oberlin were tied during the regular season, with identical NCAC records of 13-3. The Ladies earned their spot in the semifinals after they defeated The College of Wooster 63-30 on Feb. 20.
After the win against Wooster, the Ladies traveled the four-and-a-half hours to Depauw University in Greencastle, Ind. Kenyon faced off against Oberlin in the NCAC semifinal. The Ladies were unable to get revenge on the Yeowomen, who beat them earlier this month. Kenyon only had one player in double-digit scoring, Paige Matijasich ’20, who once again led the team with 11 points. Matijasich was also elected to the 2018 (NCAC) Women’s Basketball All-Tournament Team.
Another key player for the Ladies was senior Ifeoma Archimalo. In her final game for the Ladies, she scored six points and grabbed ten rebounds.
It was a tight game all the way until the fourth quarter when Oberlin outscored Kenyon 18-9. The Ladies did not play with their usual success on the offensive side of the ball. Kenyon posted the second-best three-point percentage in the conference at 31.7 percent. However, they only shot 7.7 percent in the game against Oberlin, along with a field-goal percentage of 22.6 percent.
The Kenyon defense did well in holding Oberlin to 28.6 percent from the field as well as behind the arc. Kenyon forced 11 Yeomen turnovers while only committing eight. Both teams were competitive throughout the game, but the shooting percentages indicates why the Ladies fell just short.
Kenyon came up shy of a chance to lift the NCAC trophy, but that does not take away from a strong season that saw the Ladies posting a final record of 21-6 and 13-3 in the conference. Junior captain Lane Davis stated, “For the past three years we have been knocked out of the NCAC tournament during the semifinal game. For this to happen three years in a row, it has to be mental at this point. We just need to remember the pain we have now, and let it motivate us next season to make sure that trend is broken.”
The Ladies have a base of existing talent to build with their established young players, who will come back as experienced veterans next season.