On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the Kenyon’s women’s basketball team opened their season by travelling to Heidelberg University. While Kenyon fought until the very end, Heidelberg kept a tight grip on their lead and finished with a 68-53 victory over the Ladies.
Soon after the opening tip, the Heidelberg Student Princes took an early lead, which they maintained throughout the first quarter and beyond. While the Ladies only shot 27% from the field, Heidelberg was not far ahead at 37%. The Student Princes’ early success came from their zeal on the glass, as they boasted six offensive rebounds in the first quarter. Kenyon’s seven turnovers also gave the opposing team a jump-start that would prove crucial in the rest of the game.
Following a rough shooting quarter, both teams found the hot hand from behind the arc in the second. The Ladies shot 50% from behind the arc in the second, including two threes from Madelyn Anderson ’22, while the Student Princes shot 40% on five shots. Even so, Heidelberg maintained and extended their lead by drawing fouls and making eight free throws, while Kenyon only made one. Similarly to the first quarter, Heidelberg rebounded tenaciously and forced six more turnovers out of Kenyon; the Lords had 13 turnovers in the half compared to the Student Princes’ seven. At halftime, the Ladies trailed 44-26.
Looking to make a timely comeback, Kenyon came out of the halftime break with purpose. This time, Kenyon did not allow Heidelberg to control the glass and both teams’ rebounding numbers were similar. Kenyon also equaled Heidelberg with 14 points in the quarter and kept the Student Princes away from the free-throw line. Unfortunately, this superior play was not enough to overcome Heidelberg’s sizable lead.
Kenyon was finally able to outscore Heidelberg in the fourth quarter, with a score of 13-10. Yet, this was not enough to put a significant dent into Heidelberg’s 18-point lead coming into the fourth. The shooting splits from both teams were remarkably similar, at 26% and 28% for the Ladies and the Student Princes, respectively, but Kenyon’s 30% from behind the arc was key to their success in the fourth.
Despite Heidelberg’s high conversion rate, shooting accuracy was not the deciding factor in this match. In fact, Kenyon was only 2% less accurate from the field than Heidelberg and far more accurate from 3-point range. Instead, the deciding factor was the Student Princes’ ability to take control of the paint. They scored 30 of their 68 points in the paint, and also drew 19 free throws in the process. In addition, Heidelberg out-rebounded Kenyon on the offensive glass, allowing them 14 second-chance points compared to Kenyon’s seven.
Grace Connery ’22 and Katie Orefice ’23 were the only two Ladies to reach double-digit points. Connery finished with a team-high 15 points with four 3-pointers.
Kenyon’s opportunity to bounce back from this loss will come this Saturday, Nov. 13, when they travel to Trine University (Ind.) before facing Albion College on Sunday.