Last Saturday, the Kenyon women’s basketball team faced off against Wittenberg University. The game ended in a Ladies win with a score of 70-67.
This was an important win after their North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) loss to Oberlin last Wednesday. Paige Matijasich ’20 and Jessica Gerber ’19 led the team in scoring, with 14 and 12 points, respectively. The team was able to get 26 points from the bench and shot 36 percent from three-point range.
Only two days later, the Ladies had one of their best performances of the season as they defeated Case Western Reserve University with a final score of 74-62.
The Ladies posted a season high in points in Tomsich Arena this season against Case Western. Matijasich and Grace Connery ’22 led the Ladies with season-high scoring totals, netting 24 and 17 points respectively. The two combined had 50 percent shooting from downtown, shooting 8-16 overall. Connery provided great energy off the bench, replacing Ellie Schaub ’21 — who had a great game herself, putting up 15 points and going 5-6 from the line.
Matijasich and Lane Davis ’19 grabbed a combined 23 rebounds, about half of the team’s total of 43 rebounds that game. The Ladies dominated on the boards, putting up a total of 21 second-chance points compared to Case Western’s 10. Led by Connery and Sharon Hull ’19, the Ladies showed great depth, amassing 27 points from their bench. In all, a total of 10 different players scored for Kenyon.
Late in the third quarter, Kenyon led by 21, their largest lead of the game. The Ladies had held the Spartans, a team that prior to the game was ranked as a top 50 offense in NCAA Division III rankings, to just 42 points. They worked incredibly hard in rotation, maintaining their game plan. The Ladies especially focused on the Spartans’ most effective ways of scoring: the three-point shot, and points in transition. Communication was key for the Ladies as they held the Spartans to 30 percent from three on 9-31 shooting, while holding them to just 14 points in each of the first three quarters.
The Spartans showed their determination in the fourth quarter, closing the margin to just eight points and putting up a total of 20 points. The Spartans shot nearly 50 percent in the second half, adjusting to the Ladies’ defensive intensity.
Case Western scored two quick buckets, making the margin a mere eight points; however, the Ladies’ defense held strong, keeping them from crossing that margin. In the following Kenyon possession, Gerber found Matijasich and drained a deep three to push Kenyon up, 65-54. After this, there was no way back for the Spartans.
The Ladies kept their winning streak alive last night with a 63-55 win against Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Matijasich had another huge night as she scored 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting, while also going 3-5 from behind the arc. Kenyon was dominant from tip-off, as they did not trail for a single second in the game. The Ladies defense has really found its form as they were able to force 19 turnovers in the win. Along with the defense, the three-point shooting has improved since the first game of the season, which is a promising sign for a team looking to make a run at the NCAC championship.
After Christmas, Kenyon will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where they will face off against Ramapo College on Dec. 28 and Messiah College on Dec. 30.