Section: Sports

After two big wins, Ladies gain momentum

Last week, the Ladies basketball team picked up two crucial victories that moved them back into a top three position in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) standings. On Saturday they rode their stellar 3-point shooting to a win against Wittenberg University 80-59. Then on Wednesday, they escaped The College of Wooster with a hard fought 61-49 victory away from home.

Entering Senior Day on Saturday afternoon, the Kenyon women’s basketball team desperately needed a win after coming off their first back-to-back conference losses of 2019. Only four days removed from a loss to Oberlin College featuring a season-worst 3 of 20 from 3-point range, on Saturday the team set a school record with 17 3-pointers en-route to a dominating victory against NCAC rival Wittenberg.

As a part of the festivities, Kenyon honored seniors Lane Davis, Jessica Gerber and Sharon Hull before the Ladies put on a show, devastating the Tigers with a final score of 80-59.

The game was not always a sure bet, as the Tigers led the Ladies 23-20 after the first quarter.

Despite the slight deficit, the Ladies took control after the break. They began to connect consistently from 3, went on a 15-5 run and never looked back.

By halftime, they led 42-33, with a 22-10 margin in the second quarter alone. The Ladies had to fight the entire way, with the Tigers cutting the Ladies lead to 61-57 with 7:24 remaining in the game.

With the fate of the game hanging in the balance, 3-point specialist Grace Connery ’22 hit two clutch threes in fewer than 20 seconds to push the Ladies’ lead to 67-57. From that point on the Ladies never relinquished their double digit lead.

Paige Matijasich ’20 had an extraordinary impact on the game, with the team high of 21 points, 18 scored in the second half alone. Connery, who shoots more than 84 percent of her attempts this season from beyond the arc, delivered a season high of her own with 18 points and a team-high six 3-pointers.

On their special night, Gerber and Davis did not disappoint: Gerber recorded 12 assists, tying the Kenyon single-game record, while Davis grabbed seven boards and notched 13 points. As a team, the Ladies shot 44 percent from the field with 47 percent from three.

On Wednesday, the Ladies traveled to Wooster, looking to keep their momentum rolling against the conference-worst 4-15 Fighting Scots. The Scots gave the Ladies all they could handle, leading 27-25 after the first half  which included zero free-throw attempts for the Ladies.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Ladies had the slight edge 46-45 before their defense clamped down on the Scots.

The Scots went almost seven minutes without scoring while committing four turnovers and not getting an offensive rebound in that stretch.

After the Scots went on a minature run to cut the Ladies lead to six with 2:42 to play, Gerber converted on a dagger 3-point play to ice the game as the team went on to win 61-49.

The victories pushed the Ladies to an 8-5 conference record with three conference games left in the regular season.

Currently, the Ladies sit in third place in the NCAC with the top four teams in the final standings hosting a first round NCAC tournament game on Feb. 19.

Next Wednesday, the Ladies will play at Hiram College at 7:30 p.m. in an attempt to solidify their playoff positioning.

Adam Schwager contributed reporting.

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