Section: Sports

Matijasich’s 39 points not enough in double overtime loss

Matijasich’s 39 points not enough in double overtime loss

Paige Matijasich ’20 (right) starred against Hiram, scoring 39 points. | SEJIN KIM/KENYON SID/NCAA

The Kenyon Ladies basketball team competed in six games following their winter break, losing to DePauw University, Denison University, Ohio Wesleyan University and Hiram College while securing victories against the College of Wooster and Allegheny College.

The Ladies squared off against DePauw on Dec. 31, falling 56-42. The Tigers put up an impressive 28 points in the second quarter while the Ladies scored only six points. Despite strong offensive in the third and fourth quarters, the Ladies were unable to overcome their first-half deficit. Sydney Kopp led the Tigers with 15 points, though Kenyon’s Paige Matijasich ’20 led all scorers with 19.

On Jan. 4, the Ladies traveled to Wooster to face the Fighting Scots. The Ladies got off to a fast start, taking an early 10-4 lead before the Scots started to roll. After giving up the lead, the Ladies failed to find a way to slow down the Wooster offense, specifically Maria Janasko, who scored 20 points on the night.

However, after falling behind by 17 with 6:22 left in the third quarter, the Ladies went on a furious 22-7 run to cut the lead to 2 entering the fourth quarter. They then opened the final frame on a 10-0 run, taking a 58-50 lead, before Wooster stormed right back to make the score 58-57 with five minutes remaining. However, after three consecutive 3-pointers, the Ladies took a 10-point lead and never looked back en route to a 74-68 victory.

In their next matchup, Denison defeated Kenyon 61-48 on Jan. 8. This loss comes just after Kenyon’s previous game in Granville on Dec. 11 in which the Ladies triumphed 57-47. Zyah Beal shone for Denison with 17 points, while Matijasich yet again finished with a game-high 18 points. In addition, Matijasich landed a game-high nine rebounds.

The Ladies bounced back nicely after their loss, inching past Allegheny with a 74-73 win. The first half was closely contested, with Allegheny holding a slim one-point lead. Kenyon charged ahead in the third quarter, outscoring the Gators 28-19. Matijasich scored nine points in the quarter, with Madelyn Anderson ’22 and Amanda Carroll ’22 adding six each. The fourth quarter saw Allegheny briefly outscore Kenyon 21-14, but the Ladies held on for the victory. Ellie Schaub ’21 led the Ladies with 16 points, followed by Matijasich and Grace Connery ’22 with 13 each and Anderson with 11. Anderson made 50 percent of her 3-point field goals, while Matijasich totaled 11 rebounds. Schaub credited the win to “contributions from [the whole team],” noting specifically that “team stops on defense, some clutch free throws from [Matijasich]… [and] staying composed” guided the team to victory.

On Jan. 15, the Ladies fell to Ohio Wesleyan 72-64, despite a stellar effort from Matijasich, who put up 21 points. Carroll’s 10 points and Schaub’s eight also stood out for Kenyon; however, Battling Bishops Cierra Joiner’s 25 points and Claire Sterling’s 21 points led Ohio Wesleyan to the win. A commanding fourth quarter by Ohio Wesleyan saw them score 19 points to Kenyon’s 14, putting away a game that was close throughout. 

In their final game, the Ladies fell in excruciating fashion at Hiram College in what was undoubtedly one of the NCAC games of the year. The Ladies will return home disappointed, as they had numerous chances to seal the victory. In the final seconds of regulation, with the score 63-62 in Hiram’s favor, Matijasich was fouled by Tashana Wright. She went to the foul line with a chance to win the game, but missed the second of two free throws, sending the game into overtime.

The extra frame followed the narrative of regulation: A Matijasich layup with 21 seconds left put the Ladies up by three, but Tashana Wright responded with a game-tying three to force another overtime. The Terriers were led by the aforementioned star guard throughout the game, as she scored 34 points in 50 minutes of action.

In double overtime, Kiele Anderson ’21 missed a layup which would have given her team the lead with under two seconds left. Instead, the Terriers secured the rebound, and converted two free throws to go ahead 81-78. A full-court short by Kenyon was blocked, giving Hiram the victory.

Despite the loss, the purple and black were excellent from beyond the arc, shooting 12-of-25 (48 percent). Matijasich dominated in a career game: She scored 29 points, shooting 14-of-21 from the field and 6-for-9 on 3-point attempts. Ellie Schaub added 13 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws.

The Ladies will look to bounce back in their next game against DePauw University at home at 1:00 p.m.

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