BEREA, Ohio – The 20th-nationally ranked Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team fell 64-62 in the final seconds to the defending Ohio Athletic Conference tournament champion Marietta College Pioneers inside Ursprung Gymnasium.
Senior Academic All-OAC forward Rachel Womeldorf (Lewis Center/Olentangy) posted a team-high 14 points for the Yellow Jackets (10-2, 4-1 OAC) while freshman forward Lilly Edwards (Dublin/Coffman) chipped in 13 points off the bench. Junior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Mary Schentur (Broadview Heights/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Senior guard Shay Lett scored a game-high 15 points for Marietta (9-3, 4-1 OAC) in the win. Junior forward Alexis Enochs and sophomore forward Marlo Taylor each posted 12 points apiece.
After Marietta jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, junior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Kara Marshall (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) got the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard with a jumper at the 8:47 mark. From that point on, both teams' offenses stalled for almost two full minutes. After each team traded a few baskets, the Pioneers closed out strong on a 7-1 run to take a 17-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
BW got a few stops on defense to hold Marietta scoreless for the first 4:31 of the period. Meanwhile, Edwards provided a boost on offense by making back-to-back layups to bring the Yellow Jackets within four points at 17-13. Once the Pioneers finally found the back of the net, they extended their lead back out to eight points to lead 23-15 with 3:24 left in the half. BW started to swing the momentum when Marshall completed a three-point play and then forced a turnover on defense on the ensuing Marietta possession. Womeldorf added four points late for a halftime score of 26-22 in favor of the Pioneers.
Coming out of the intermission, junior Academic All-OAC guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro) nailed a huge three-pointer, the Yellow Jackets' first of the game, to cut the deficit down to just one point. Marietta responded with a quick 7-0 run, however, before defense began to steal the show again. With the Pioneers leading 36-28 and 3:25 left on the clock, BW found some rhythm on offense starting when sophomore guard Gabby Garrett (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) hit a trey from the wing. Schentur kept the Yellow Jackets within striking distance with four made free throws while Womeldorf beat the third quarter buzzer with a jumper, making the score 40-39.
A layup from Edwards at the 8:02 mark gave BW its first lead of the game at 44-43. For a majority of the period, both teams traded one-point leads until Womeldorf connected on consecutive field goals for a 52-49 Yellow Jacket lead that forced Marietta into a timeout. After Garrett sank another three-pointer at the 2:05 mark to hold on to a 57-53 lead, the Pioneers applied a full-court press and forced two BW turnovers, which they turned into a 7-0 run.
Trailing 62-59, sophomore forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) stepped into and drained a deep three-point shot at the top of the key, tying the game with just five seconds left. Marietta immediately called a timeout and devised a pick-and-roll play for Enochs for the eventual game-winning layup. However, the Pioneers left 0.8 seconds on the clock which gave BW another chance to force overtime. The Yellow Jackets tried to execute a similar play on the inbound but had the ball tipped away, sealing the Marietta victory.
BW will look to return to the win column on Saturday, January 5, when the Yellow Jackets travel to Westerville to take on Otterbein University at 3 p.m. inside the Rike Center.