By Colleen Pegher
Led by sophomore Emma Pellicano’s 28 points, the women’s basketball team topped Oberlin College in an 86-66 win last Saturday, boosting their record to 6-3 in conference.
“Emma has really stepped up the past couple of weeks,” said Head Coach Kate Costanzo. “She’s leading our offense and doing a great job of rebounding. She’s a very talented player and her teammates did a fantastic job of getting her the ball the past couple of games.”
Pellicano was one of four Gators to finish in double digits along with Kendall Hoffman, ’15, Makenzie Zidek, ’16 and Jessica Mrdjenovich, ’16. Hoffman finished with 13, while Zidek put up 12 and Mrdjenovich added another ten. The offensive output is the Gators’ sixth 80-plus performance of the season.
“I think we have continued to improve since the beginning of the season and it showed offensively and defensively against Oberlin,” said Pellicano. “Our shots were falling on offense and we were finding each other well.”
Oberlin started out the first two minutes of the game with a 7-3 lead, but the potent Gator offense was not thwarted for long, as they began a 17-3 run to regain control in the following seven minutes of play. With just over eleven minutes remaining in the half and eight points from Pellicano, the Gator lead swelled to ten, putting them ahead 20-10.
The lead stretched to 16 as baskets from four different Gators put Allegheny up 30-14. With four minutes left in the half, the Yeowomen cut their deficit to nine. However, eight points from Gator rookie Meaghan Wilby in a two-minute span put the Gators back up 45-29 at the half.
Following halftime, the Gator offense produced another run, giving them their largest lead of the day, 59-35 with just under 15 minutes remaining. Oberlin would lessen the Allegheny lead to 13 with a 12-4 run, but their efforts proved futile as eight more points from Pellicano and a Zidek three-pointer propelled the Gators ahead to victory.
Despite the highly productive offense, Costanzo and her players credit the defense for their success on the offensive end.
“We worked on our presses last week at practice and were able to force some turnovers and get some transition scoring opportunities against Oberlin,” Costanzo said. “Our defensive energy sparked our offense early in the game. The players did a great job of pushing the ball and setting each other up for good looks at the hoop.”
The Gators had 23 assists on the day, with Marina Scarantino, ’15, leading the way with nine of her own.