MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – The Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team dropped a 64-51 defensive battle to seventh nationally-ranked and host Messiah (Pa.) College in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Freshman All-Ohio Athletic Conference forward Lilly Edwards (Dublin/Coffman) was the sole Yellow Jacket (20-8) to hit double figures with 15 points to go along with her team-leading eight rebounds.
Senior guard Maci Thornton posted a game-high 22 points in the win for Messiah (28-1) while senior forward Alecia Rohrer contributed identical numbers of 16 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
BW and Messiah went toe-to-toe to start the game, trading field goals until the Falcons finally got a stop on defense and came down the floor for a 10-6 lead. Both offenses then went cold for over three minutes of action until junior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Archbishop Hoban) split a pair of free throws at the 2:05 mark. The Yellow Jackets and the Falcons picked up right where they left off, trading baskets, until an offensive rebound by freshman forward Megan Scheibelhut (Avon Lake/Elyria Catholic) off a missed free throw led to a put back and a 14-14 tie at the end of the first period.
Defense was the mark for the first few minutes of the second quarter until Edwards made a layup with 7:55 left on the clock. The freshman then continued on a personal 6-0 run for the Yellow Jackets to take a 20-16 lead with 6:36 left. A 10-1 run gave Messiah a 26-21 lead before a traditional three-point play from junior two-time All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Riley Schill (Sheffield Village/Elyria Catholic) brought BW within two points. Only three more points were scored for the remainder of the half as the Falcons led 28-25 heading into the locker room.
The Yellow Jackets started out the second half on a 7-0 run, including five points from junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro), to take a four point lead. Messiah battled its way back to tie the game at 32-32 and again at 34-34. Late in the period, both sophomore forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) and freshman guard Sydney Snyder (Kirtland) followed the Falcons' sharp three-point shooting with treys of their own to keep BW within three points of the lead. However, Messiah closed out the period with a jumper in the waning seconds to hold a 45-40 advantage.
Neither team was able to find the bottom of the net until the 7:03 mark when the Falcons knocked down a pair of free throws. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets were held scoreless themselves until Hughes made her two free throws with 6:38 remaining. The first made field goal of the period came with 5:05 on the clock with a Schill layup. However, foul trouble helped Messiah to pull ahead, especially with two crucial and-one plays to build up to a multiple-possession lead that BW could not overcome in the 64-51 loss.
BW finishes the season 20-8, making the program's 14th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Yellow Jackets return the core of their roster and will seek a return to the national level in 2019-20.