BEXLEY, Ohio – In a matchup of Ohio Athletic Conference unbeatens, the 19th nationally-ranked Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team outlasted Capital University 73-61 in a defensive battle inside the Capital Center Performance Arena.
Freshman forward Lilly Edwards (Dublin/Coffman) led BW (8-0, 3-0 OAC) with a team-high 14 points. Sophomore forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) and junior Academic All-OAC guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro) each chipped in 12 points apiece. After shooting 50 percent from the free throw line in her previous game, Hughes went a perfect 10-for-10 against the Crusaders while Diedrich led the team on the glass with six rebounds.
Junior forward Regan Stonerock posted a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds in the loss for Capital (6-1, 3-1 OAC). Junior forward Cassidy Bosch and senior forward Erin Risner were the next-leading scorers with seven points each.
BW nailed its first two shots to open up the game on a 5-0 run, forcing the Crusaders to burn an early timeout at the 7:40 mark. Once Capital finally got on the scoreboard coming out of the intermission, a scoreless minute passed as both teams' defenses began to lock down. Fifteen combined turnovers and stout defense on both sides led to just a 14-8 BW lead at the end of the first period.
A 4-0 run to start the second quarter built up to a 10-point Yellow Jacket advantage with 8:27 remaining. The Crusaders finally found a rhythm on offense and answered to cut the lead down to three points, 20-17, with 3:36 left on the clock. Key three-point shots from senior Academic All-OAC guard MacKenzi Matthews (North Royalton) and transfer junior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Mary Schentur (Broadview Heights/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) to go along with two free throws from junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Riley Schill (Sheffield Village/Elyria Catholic) helped BW to regain a nine-point lead, 30-21, at halftime.
Defense continued to be the hallmark of the game as only 10 combined points were scored halfway through the third quarter. Sophomore guard Gabby Garrett (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) gave the Yellow Jackets a boost of offense off the bench as she nailed two three-pointers for a 43-28 BW lead at the 3:16 mark. Capital used a 9-2 run as the third period wound down, cutting the deficit down to eight points, before freshman forward Megan Scheibelhut (Avon Lake/Elyria Catholic) beat the buzzer on a layup to put the Yellow Jackets up 47-37.
The Yellow Jackets maintained around a 10-point lead for a majority of the fourth quarter until the Crusaders went off on a 7-0 run, bringing the score to 55-48 with 4:01 left in the game. With the pressure on and momentum in Capital's favor, Diedrich sank two huge shots from beyond the arc to hold on to a double-digit advantage. The final minutes passed in a flurry of fouls and free throws but the Yellow Jackets were clutch down the stretch, shooting 12-of-14 from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
BW will hit the road for its second tournament of the season on Friday, Dec. 14, when the Yellow Jackets take on fourth nationally-ranked Thomas More (Ky.) College at 5 p.m. in the Post Exam Jam, hosted by Hope (Mich.) College.