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Snapping streak against Blue Streaks on the mind

February 8, 2013

Junior Makenzie Wippel, who will be making her sixth start of the season, scored a season-high 22 points in the first JCU game.

Junior Makenzie Wippel, who will be making her sixth start of the season, scored a season-high 22 points in the first JCU game.

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Wilmington College women’s basketball team holds a slim one-game lead over Capital for the final bye in the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament. By virtue of sweeping the season series, Wilmington essentially holds a two-game margin over the Crusaders. (Game Notes)

But, head coach Jerry Scheve is hoping to simply snap a two-game losing streak. After rattling off a four-game winning streak, the Lady Quakers have lost its last two games. Both loses came as senior leader LeAnn Topp (New Bremen, OH/New Bremen) was forced to watch from the sidelines. It was a real blow for the Lady Quakers as Topp was coming off back-to-back 16-point games. She was named OAC Player of the Week after averaging 16 points and 11.5 rebounds in back-to-back wins.

Topp isn’t expected to play Saturday for Wilmington; meaning junior Makenzie Wippel (Orient, OH/Westfall) would be making her third consecutive start, and fifth start of the season. In her first start, Wippel turned in her best outing of the season against these same Blue Streaks. He scored 22 points with eight rebounds as WC pulled out the 65-56 victory.

Sophomore Spencer Robles (Clyde, OH/Clyde) also had a big game for the Lady Quakers with a career-high 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately for WC, Robles has only reached double figures twice since that January 5th meeting. Although, she showed signs of breaking out of her shooting slump, scoring 11 points in Wednesday’s loss.

Wilmington knows a victory over John Carroll 3 p.m. Saturday would go a long way to securing the fourth seed in the tournament. However, beating the Blue Streaks on their home court is hardly a given.

“They are a team having a similar season to us,” said Scheve. “We are both 16-0 and if you look at their schedule; they have lost to the teams ahead of them and beat the teams behind them.”

The Blue Streaks, led by junior Missy Spahar, are fourth in the league in scoring. They are averaging 65.4 points per game. Spahar leads the OAC in rebounding with 9.3 boards per game, and is fifth in the league with 16.1 points. She is one of two players that are in the top 5 in both rebounding and scoring.

Spahar was held to just six points in the first meeting, marking her second-lowest scoring output of the season. The forward has failed to reach double figures only four times this season, and has led JCU in scoring in seven of the last nine games since the first Wilmington game. She has recorded at least 20 points in six of the last nine games.

“She had a bad day,” said Scheve. “I am sure she will be ready to change it on Saturday. She is a really good player, and we are certainly concerned about her.”