The Ladies basketball team has played eight games since the start of winter break, a run that began with a 56-32 win over Ramapo College on Dec. 28 and most recently saw the Ladies lose against Oberlin College on Wednesday.
The team currently has a 12-7 record and a 6-5 record in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). They kicked off the back half of their schedule with two games at the Ft. Lauderdale tournament. After defeating Ramapo, the Ladies fell in a tightly contested 57-49 game to the ninth-ranked Messiah College.
After the turn of the calendar, the Ladies started the bulk of their conference schedule with a 55-46 loss against Denison University, currently second in the NCAC standings. The team responded by winning three in a row, the first a 70-51 home victory against Allegheny College. Next came a 69-59 victory at Ohio Wesleyan University, followed by a tightly-fought home victory against Hiram College, the Ladies’ first home game with students back on campus.
On Saturday the Ladies took on perennial NCAC powerhouse DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and found themselves playing catchup the entire game. Less than four-and-a-half minutes into the game, the Ladies were in a 10-0 hole, eventually ending the first quarter down 19-4. Although DePauw only outscored Kenyon by one point in the final three quarters of the game, the first-quarter deficit kept the Ladies from ever putting the Tigers in serious jeopardy of losing their perfect NCAC season.
On Wednesday, the Ladies could not overcome their poor shooting and lost to Oberlin College with a final score of 67-45. The blowout kept the Ladies from exacting revenge on the team that had beaten them narrowly the last two times they played each other, the earlier of the two being in the semifinals of the 2018 NCAC tournament. Finding themselves in the same situation against defending NCAC champion as they did on Saturday, the Ladies fell into a 7-point hole early; however, they were able to climb back and cut the Oberlin lead to 13-11 at the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Ladies, the Yeowomen went on a 22-8 run to start the second quarter, highlighted by two three-pointers from Oberlin’s Alexandra Stipano, who finished the game 5-6 from beyond the arc.
The effective shooting was not just limited to Stipano, as the Yeowomen shot an unnatural 57.1% for the game from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Ladies had an unnaturally low shooting percentage from beyond the arc, making only three of their 20 combined attempts for a 15 percent average. All of these factors amounted to the Ladies having 23-point deficit after the third quarter, leading head coach Suzanne Helfant to bench the starters for the entirety of the fourth quarter.
The low shooting percentage was not just bad luck, as Oberlin’s Cheyenne Arthur played lockdown defense against the Ladies’ star first-team All-NCAC guard Paige Matijasich ’20, who made only four of her 15 shots to score just 10 points, 5.3 below her season average.
This coming week, the Ladies will host their Senior Night on Saturday at the Kenyon Athletic Center against Wittenberg University, and will travel to face the College of Wooster Fighting Scots on Wednesday.