Ahrens' basket lifts Wilmington

CINCINNATI, OH - Junior Bethany Ahrens' basket with 10.5 seconds remaining lifted the Wilmington College women's basketball team the 50-48 comeback victory Wednesday over the College of Mount St. Joseph at the Harrington Center in non-conference action.

The victory enabled Wilmington to snap its 11-game road losing streak. The Lady Quakers' last road victory was a 67-54 win over Heidelberg on December 3, 2011.

"We just do not have the type of team to pick and choose when we are gonna play hard," said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. "We didn't have any energy in the first half. We started pressing and it picked up our effort. When we play with that level of energy, it shows the type of team we can be."

Moments after the Lions scored on an offensive rebound and putback to tie the game at 48, Wilmington raced back up the court to get in position for the victory. Senior Bria Estlick (Cleveland Heights, OH/Lutheran East) found Ahrens (Versailles, OH/Versailles) posting hard on the box and Ahrens converted the layup.

Ahrens' bucket enabled the Lady Quakers to comeback from its 10-point halftime deficit and a six-point hole with 2:24 remaining in the contest. She finished with a season-high seven points one game after not playing.

"I thought Bethany Ahrens was the key to this game," said Scheve.

Scheve added that he was impressed with how the team shrugged off their struggles to make key plays down the stretch and record the victory.

Immediately following two MSJ free throws to give the Lions the late six-point bulge, WC got back-to-back buckets from junior Haley Howard (Uhrichsville, OH/New Philadelphia) and senior LeAnn Topp (New Bremen, OH/New Bremen) to cut the deficit to two.

As Wilmington found its offensive stride after going nearly 10 minutes without a bucket, the Lady Quakers defense was locking down on Mount St. Joseph.

Wilmington caught a break with 52 seconds remaining following a missed free throw, MSJ turned it over under the WC hoop. Sophomore Spencer Robles (Clyde, OH/Clyde), the team's leading scorer, made the Lions pay for their mistake - hitting her only basket of the day - a three-pointer from the corner to give the Lady Quakers a two-point lead with 50 seconds remaining.

The biggest difference in the two halves was Wilmington's work on the boards. They were outrebounded by five in the first half when they took the 10-point deficit into the break. The Lady Quakers pounded the home team, 29-13, in the second half as they outscored MSJ by 12 in the pivotal second stanza.

Along with their work on the glass, WC turned up the full-court pressure coming out of the locker rooms. Wilmington opened the final 20 minutes on a 19-4 run to claim a five-point lead. However, the Lady Quakers sustained the aforementioned scoring drought that kept the winless Lions in the game.

Defensively, Wilmington limited its hosts to 29.5 percent shooting and kept the Lions' leading scorer, Madie Long, off the board completely. It marked the second straight game WC took the opposing teams best scorer from making an impact.

Howard, who didn't allow her defensive charge of holding down Long to affect her offense, led Wilmington with career-high 12 points and a team-high four assists. Peters added eight points, while Topp recorded a team-high six boards.

Wilmington (4-2) will step into Ohio Athletic Conference action 7:30 p.m. December 5, hosting Muskingum.