After starting the year strong with a 3-1 record, the Kenyon women’s basketball team went through a cold streak, losing five straight games. This past week, after losing twice by double-digit deficits to Oberlin College and Wittenberg University, the Ladies ended their losing streak with a win on the road against Denison University.
In their first game against Oberlin, the Ladies struggled tremendously from the field. In the first half, Kenyon shot a collective 5-for-27, logging a dismal 19-percent shooting mark. The Ladies, however, were able to hold Oberlin to just 16 points, keeping the game within striking distance while trailing 16-12 heading into the second half.
In the third quarter, both teams found their rhythm and exploded offensively. The Ladies notched an impressive 17 points to Oberlin’s 15 and cut the four-point deficit in half. However, in the fourth quarter, Oberlin took control of the game. The Yeowomen went on a dominant 9-0 run to open the quarter, securing the win in their first matchup of the season.
Despite the team’s significant offensive struggles, Paige Matijasich ’20 shone for the Ladies. Matijasich filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, four assists and six rebounds on an efficient 8-15 from the field.
In their next matchup on Saturday afternoon against the Wittenberg University Tigers, the Ladies looked to bounce back from their previously weak offensive performance. Kenyon pushed the tempo to open the game but was matched in intensity by the Tigers. The teams combined for 44 points in the first quarter. Wittenberg utilized their size and physicality and pounded the ball into the paint consistently throughout the game.
By halftime, the Tigers were already 10-10 from the free-throw line. Wittenberg went on to take 32 foul shots, converting on 80 percent of those attempts.
The second half followed almost the same storyline: The Ladies kept their foot on the pedal but fell behind slightly as Wittenberg continually put up easy points from the line. Trailing 60-48 heading into the final quarter of play, the Ladies were forced to foul. The Tigers converted on 10 of 15 free throws in the final five minutes of play.
Matijasich had another huge outing for the Ladies, posting her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Grace Connery ’22 and Ellie Schaub ’21 also contributed considerably with 16 and 14 points respectively.
In their last game of the week on Wednesday, the Ladies finally ended their losing streak in a dominant performance against Denison University. The Ladies were again led by Matijasich, who tallied her second consecutive double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds on 7-11 shooting.
Kenyon took the lead early and held on to it for the entirety of the game. Learning from their recent loss against Wittenberg, the Ladies asserted themselves right away inside the paint and held Denison to just 14 points in the first half. The key to Kenyon’s win seemed to be their savvy play on the defensive end of the floor. The Ladies gained a significant rebound advantage, with the Ladies tallying 44 boards to Denison’s 30. The team notched five blocks and sent Denison to the line just eight times while holding the Big Red to a ghastly 31 percent shooting from the field.
The Ladies will look to build on this win as they face off against Mount Vernon Nazarene University this Friday in Tomsich Arena at 7 p.m.