Lady Quakers edged by buzzer beater
Otterbein wins, 63-61
February 18, 2012
Bethany Ahrens heads to the basket during Wilmington's loss to Otterbein.
Otterbein guard Shea McCoy’s buzzer-beating jumper handed Wilmington College a 63-61 loss in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Fred Raizk Arena Saturday.
Wilmington ends the regular season at 7-11 in the OAC, 12-13 overall. Otterbein closes at 13-5 in conference play, 19-6 overall.
Wilmington will be the No. 6 seed in the OAC Tournament and will host No. 7 John Carroll in a first-round game 6 p.m. Monday. Otterbein will be the No. 3 seed in the tourney and will host the winner of the Wilmington-John Carroll game in a quarterfinal game 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A Wilmington-Otterbein re-match would be hard-pressed to duplicate Saturday’s drama. The game was close from the opening tip to McCoy’s late heroics.
“We got a great effort from everybody. I was proud of how we played. We played a lot of kids and I was happy with some kids who haven’t played that much, like Darcie Zirkle, Bethany Kincer and Jess Rebert. They came up big for us,” Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve said.
LeAnn Topp (New Bremen) and Shelby Kies (Maineville/Kings) hit 3-pointers as the Lady Quakers jumped to a 12-6 lead in the first 6 minutes of play.
Otterbein reeled Wilmington in and took a 30-25 advantage when Hannah Day hit from downtown with 5:00 to play.
Zirkle (St. Paris/Graham) came up with a pair of steals that led to Wilmington baskets that tied the game at 31. The game went to the break deadlocked at 35.
Otterbein scored six unanswered points to open the second half, but Wilmington used a 7-2 spurt to pull within a point on a Makenzie Wippel (Orient/Westfall) trey at 16:37.
The game stayed in an airtight window the rest of the way as the lead changed hands eight times down the stretch.
Wilmington’s largest lead came with 5:46 to play when Wippel scored in the paint to put the Lady Quakers up, 58-55.
Wilmington though was unable to expand its lead on its next two possessions, and McCoy put Otterbein up, 59-58, with a jumper at 1:43.
After the Cardinals pushed their lead to 61-58, Kies converted a 3-point play to tie the score with 1:00 remaining.
Wilmington forced an Otterbein turnover, but the Lady Quakers couldn’t cash in at the other end.
Otterbein regained possession with 19 seconds to play and, following a timeout with 8 seconds remaining, got the ball to McCoy. The senior took the ball to the side of the line and hit a jumper in traffic with 0.4 second remaining.
“Our defensive effort was outstanding today and on the last shot of the game,” Scheve said. “We guarded McCoy well — she just hit a real tough shot.”
Bria Eslick (Cleveland Heights/Lutheran East) led Wilmington with 11 points. Kies and Wippel added nine apiece. Bethany Ahrens (Versailles) and Zirkle scored eight and seven points, respectively.