UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – In a battle of the top two teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team fell 64-59 to crosstown rival John Carroll University inside the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.
Freshman forward Lilly Edwards (Dublin/Coffman) narrowly missed out on her fifth double-double as she was the Yellow Jackets (16-6, 10-5 OAC) leading scorer and rebounder with 15 points and nine rebounds. Junior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Archbishop Hoban) poured in 12 points while junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Riley Schill (Sheffield Village/Elyria Catholic) added 10 points of her own.
Junior guard Sarah Sprecher came off the bench to lead the Blue Streaks (16-6, 12-3 OAC) with a game-high 16 points. Junior guard Dani Carlson also contributed 12 points off the bench and sophomore guard/forward Abby Adler chipped in 10 points to round out the double-digit scorers.
Extra chances via the offensive glass helped the Yellow Jackets to their first two made field goals. However, every time BW scored, John Carroll came right back down the floor to stay within one possession of the lead. After a nearly three-minute scoreless stretch, a flurry of layups from both teams closed out the first quarter as the Yellow Jackets led 14-13.
John Carroll hit a three-pointer on its opening possession of the second quarter before both teams' defenses began to force a lot of turnovers. Once Schill finally broke through the defense at the 6:09 mark to tie the game at 16-16, John Carroll erupted for an 8-0 run to take control of the half. Edwards put an end to the run by knocking down the back end of a pair of free throws but the Blue Streaks held a 31-21 halftime lead.
A 7-0 run for the Yellow Jackets started the second half on the right foot, eventually cutting the deficit down to 33-32 thanks to two free throws from sophomore forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy). The game remained within one possession until the final minutes of the quarter. John Carroll went up by six points with a three pointer with 1:55 remaining before Schill wrapped up the period with a layup for a 41-37 score in favor of the Blue Streaks.
Three pointers from Diedrich and Marshall kept BW within striking distance in the fourth quarter but the final score came down to the free throw line. John Carroll was in the bonus starting around the six-minute mark and converted on 7-of-8 attempts. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets were not going down without a fight as Edwards and Marshall brought BW back within three points at 62-59 with just 12 seconds left. However, the final pair of Blue Streak free throws put the comeback win just out of reach.
BW returns home on Saturday, Feb. 9, to host Capital University in the Play4Kay Game at 3 p.m. inside Ursprung Gymnasium. The Yellow Jackets have partnered with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund by joining the Play4Kay National Free Throw Challenge. Donations can be made to support the cause HERE.