Women’s Basketball Powers Past OWU

Daryl Ford, '13, drives to the hoop against OWU Saturday afternoon. The sophomore forward had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Photo by Charlie Magovern/The Campus

By Charlie Magovern

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For the second time this season, the Allegheny women’s basketball team found themselves in a tight battle with Ohio Wesleyan late in the game. For the first time this season, the Gators were able to outplay the Bishops down the stretch, winning 92-82 at the Wise Center Saturday afternoon.

The Gators played like a team on the rise, combining a dominating star performance with outstanding bench play to move into a tie for second with the Bishops in the NCAC.

“We have a great team this year,” said head coach Kate Costanzo. “Any one of our players can step up at any time.”

After taking a 43-38 lead into halftime, the Gators found themselves trailing by two with 8:30 left in the game. But unlike their 92-86 loss to OWU earlier this season, Allegheny successfully broke OWU’s full-court press many times to pull ahead of the Bishops in the final minutes of the game.

Costanzo said they expected to see the full-court pressure and that their preparation for it in the week leading up to the game paid off.

Jill Gregory, ’11, put up a game and season-high 25 points for the Gators. But the major difference in the game was the performance of Allegheny’s bench and role players as a result of second leading scorer Heidi Goeller, ’13, seeing minimal minutes due to foul trouble.

Freshman Saddie Gravatt posted 16 points, including four three-pointers, off the bench while Daryl Ford, ’13 and Erica Restich each had double-doubles.

The first half revealed that OWU was going to rely heavily on their “big three” of Pam Quigney, Tyler Cordell and Kayla Gordon, and though all three put up big numbers, OWU only got 18 points from their other players—a key factor in their loss.

In the second half, the Gators turned up the pressure on defense and forced OWU into being one-dimensional and reliant on post play, as the Bishops only made two of their 15 attempted three-pointers.

Allegheny, however, was successful in the paint, behind the line and in transition. They also outrebounded the Bishops 48-34, something Costanzo said she was particularly proud of. She was also happy about how the team maintained their composure towards the end of the game, which is what cost them the last time they played OWU.

The team routinely broke OWU’s press late in the second half, which resulted in quick, momentum-building points that gave the Gators the edge.

Up next for the Gators is a Wednesday night home game against Oberlin, whom they beat 71-45 on the road two weeks ago. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at the Wise Center as the Gators look to build more momentum heading into the second half of NCAC play.