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Women's basketball hits OAC play

Hosts Muskingum in league opener

December 4, 2012

Sophomore Courtney Tucker and the Lady Quakers host Muskingum 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in WC's conference opener.

Sophomore Courtney Tucker and the Lady Quakers host Muskingum 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in WC's conference opener.

WILMINGTON, OH – Every coach likes to speak about taking it ‘one game at a time’, and for the Wilmington College women’s basketball team that adage takes extra importance this week as they Lady Quakers embark on a stretch with three games in five days. (Game Notes, Live Stats/Audio)

Wilmington hosts Muskingum 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in its Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opener before traveling to Marietta 3 p.m. Saturday and Division I Youngstown State 3 p.m. Sunday. To add the stress of playing the three games, Wilmington is in exam week.

“We are worried about our OAC games first,” said WC head coach Jerry Scheve. “Every game in the league is difficult. There are no easy games in the OAC and we have to fully prepare for each one of them. We will start thinking about Marietta on Thursday, and think about Youngstown on Sunday.”

Fortunately, WC hasn’t played since its 50-48 victory over the College of Mount St. Joseph on November 28. Having the break afforded the coaching staff to give the players a long weekend and Scheve hopes they will return a fresher bunch.

Muskingum comes into Wednesday’s game on a two-game losing streak after falling to Kenyon, 71-62, Saturday. But, Wilmington harbors the feelings from the teams’ last meeting.

“The last time we saw them, they ran us out of the gym,” said Scheve. “(Senior forward Hannah) Nelson is one of the best offensive players in the league, and they surround her with very good three-point shooters.”

Nelson leads the OAC with 18.8 points per game and is third with 8.6 rebounds per game. She is sixth in the league, shooting 55.3 percent from the field (42-of-76). In contrast, her 76 shots are 33 more shots than seniors LeAnn Topp (New Bremen, OH/New Bremen) and Bria Eslick (Cleveland Heights, OH/Lutheran East). They lead WC with 43 shots attempts each.

She is far from a one-person show as the Muskies have two other players in double figures as freshman Karen Sidwell and junior Tori Jarrett are each dropping in 11.7 points per game. Sidwell is shooting nearly 37 percent (7-of-19) from beyond the arc, while Jarrett is converting 36 percent on an astounding 45 three-point attempts.

For Scheve, the formula to slowing down the Muskingum offensive attack is simple.

“The most important thing for us to do is play hard and with enthusiasm,” he said. “We can’t pay attention to the scoreboard, and just play confidently regardless of the situation.”

Sophomore Spencer Robles (Clyde, OH/Clyde) is leading the Lady Quakers in scoring with 8.7 points, but her performance is a tale of two places. She is averaging 12.3 points at home and a paltry 1.5 points away from Hermann Court. Her lone road basket, a three-pointer against MSJ, was a huge shot that gave Wilmington a late lead.

Senior Brianna Peters (Alexandria, KY/Campbell County) and junior Haley Howard (Uhrichsville, OH/New Philadelphia) are scoring eight points per game. Topp, who move inside after the third game of the season, has really picked up her rebounding and leads the team with 6.0 boards per game, while Peters and Eslick are tied for second with 5.3.