Section: Basketball

Women’s basketball falls in back-to-back home matches

Women’s basketball falls in back-to-back home matches

Gest scored 20 points against Wittenberg. | SEJIN KIM/SID/NCAA

The Kenyon women’s basketball team, which sits at 4-17 (1-8 NCAC), hosted Wittenberg University on Saturday and Oberlin College on Wednesday night. Despite a strong start on Saturday against the Tigers, the Owls fell 71-46. Then, on Wednesday night, Kenyon lost to Oberlin by a score of 69-38

Kenyon got off to a great start against Wittenberg on Saturday when Claudia Cooke ’24 opened the scoring for the Owls with a layup on their first possession of the game. The hot streak continued in the first four minutes of play for the Owls, with baskets from Anissa Hardy ’26, Mikayla Rudolph ’26, Cooke and Grace Murphy ’26, giving the Owls an eight-point advantage on the Tigers. However, Wittenberg chipped away at the Kenyon lead and tied the game at 14 with 1:25 to play in the first quarter. The Owls were unable to subdue the Tigers’ momentum, as Wittenburg took a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter. From then on, Wittenberg was in complete control, going on an 11-0 run to open the second quarter and led 41-20 as the game hit the halfway point.

In the third quarter, only two Owls recorded points for Kenyon. Alyssa Gest ’26 sank two baskets and Rudolph contributed with two free throws. The Owls ended the third quarter down 32 points. Despite the second- and third-quarter struggles, Kenyon regained a bit of momentum in the fourth quarter, but could not get near the Tigers overall, falling 71-45. Gest scored 13 of the Owls’ 19 points in the fourth and was Kenyon’s leading scorer on the day with 20. Rudolph added nine points for the Owls and Cooke followed up with eight of her own. 

At home again on Wednesday night, the Owls took on the Oberlin Yeowomen, who entered the matchup with a 12-7 (3-5 NCAC) record. The first half was a low-scoring affair, with both teams finding it difficult to connect on their shots. The Owls struggled, going 3-of-14 from the field in the first quarter and 4-of-16 in the second frame. Though the Yeowomen put up fewer shots, strong shooting as the first half went on helped to lift Oberlin to a 25-17 lead after 20 minutes.

In the second half, the Yeowomen offense heated up, shooting a 73.33% field goal percentage in a 28-point third quarter to extend their lead over Kenyon to 27 entering the final frame. The Owls were unable to shrink the deficit in the fourth quarter and fell 69-38. The Yeowomen scored 36 points in the paint overall compared to the Owls’ eight. On offense, Kenyon was stymied by a stingy Oberlin defense that forced tough shots deep in the shot clock and costly turnovers. Cooke, in her penultimate game on the Hill, was the highlight for Kenyon. The center posted her fourth double-double of the season, scoring 19 points and snagging 11 rebounds. Rudolph also hit double figures, scoring 10 points and hitting on three triples.

 In an email to the Collegian, Gest wrote about the team’s hopes for a strong finish to the season: “Our goal is to push the pace against these teams and secure a few more NCAC wins. We have to work together and be smart with every possession.”

The Owls have only four games remaining in their season, three of which are on the road. Kenyon will travel to the College of Wooster on Saturday, hoping to replicate its win over the Fighting Scots earlier in the season. As the season winds down, Gest emphasized the team’s focus on improvement in both practices and games. “Our mindset going into the last stretch of the season is to play with heart and continue to get better every day. We have team goals for practice and games that we will be emphasizing for the next few weeks.”

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