By: Erin Madden
BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball head coach Cheri Harrer won her 600th career game as the No. 14-nationally ranked women's basketball team defeated Muskingum University in an Ohio Athletic Conference and Play4Kay game by a final score of 86-56 in the Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center.
BW (17-2, 11-1 OAC), who remains undefeated at home, improved to 56-23 in the all-time series against Muskingum University (3-14, 1-11 OAC). The Yellow Jackets have now won 22 straight games against the Muskies and captured the season series for the 11th consecutive season.
Harrer, who is in her 30th season, becomes the 77th head coach in NCAA history to win 600 or more games and the 21st in Division III. She is the second all-time winningest women's head coach and is the third all-time winningest basketball coach in OAC history. Capital University women's coach Dixie Jeffers leads with 748 and retired Otterbein University men's coach Dick Reynolds is second with 653.
Harrer won her 100th game on February 4, 1997, her 200th on December 18, 2001, her 300th on February 24, 2005, her 400th on December 5, 2009 and 500th on January 17, 2015. She now has a career record of 600-223 and an OAC mark of 392-141.
Junior forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) led all Yellow Jacket scorers with 14 points off the bench. Sophomore guard Megan Hensel (Upper Sandusky) poured in 12 points of her own while senior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Akron Archbishop Hoban) and sophomore forward Megan Scheibelhut (Avon Lake/Elyria Catholic) both chipped in 10 points apiece. Scheibelhut also led the rebounding effort with six rebounds, including four off the offensive glass.
Junior guard Emily Yeager and freshman guard Casey Smith had game-high tying totals of 16 points each to lead the Muskies while Yeager came one rebound shy of a double-double with a game-high nine boards.
Muskingum quietly snuck out to an 8-4 lead early in the first quarter, forcing a BW timeout at the 7:48 mark. The Yellow Jackets found their stroke from deep, however, as Diedrich and senior All-OAC guard Hannah Fecht (Hilliard/Davidson) knocked down back-to-back treys to tie the game at 10-10 and BW never looked back. Three pointers continued to pour in from Hensel, Diedrich and senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro) but the Muskies hung tough to a 28-24 score at the end of the first period.
A pair of free throws brought Muskingum within two points at 28-26 less than a minute into the second quarter before a traditional and-one from Diedrich helped to swing momentum back in the Yellow Jackets' favor. BW kept pounding the ball inside, layup after layup, to build up an eventual 12-point advantage at halftime, 46-34.
The Yellow Jackets opened up the second half on a 10-0 run with four different players contributing to the offense. Once the Muskies finally put a halt to the run, they held BW scoreless for over two minutes before Diedrich hit a pair of free throws with 5:34 remaining. Defense continued to be the mark of the period as only 10 combined points were scored from that point on, which had the Yellow Jackets leading 66-43 at the end of the third quarter.
Hensel knocked down a three-pointer to spark a 9-0 run that spanned half the period and got BW out to a 30-point lead. Despite some hot three-point shooting late, Muskingum could not overcome the deficit as the Yellow Jackets hung on for the 86-56 victory.
BW is back in action on Wednesday, February 5 when the team travels to Ada for an OAC game against Ohio Northern University at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets return home on Saturday, February 8 when they host an OAC and Seniors' Day game against Wilmington College at 3 p.m.