By EMERALD WRIGHTCOLLIE
The women’s basketball team defeated Oberlin in Wednesday night’s game at the Wise Center by a final score of 77-65. The victory moved the Gators up in the conference standings, leaving them one spot away from hosting a first round playoff game.
Makenzie Zidek, ’16, with her first start of the season, led the team with 21 points.
“Makenzie came in with fire,” said Head Coach Kate Costanzo.
“This game was my first start and it was awesome,” said Zidek, ’16. “It feels good when you are confident.”
Zidek proved herself a defensive asset as well, finishing the game with a total of three steals and six rebounds.
The Lady Gators were a force offensively, with five players in double digits. Along with Zidek, Emma Pellicano, ’16, Kendall Hoffman, ’15, Rachel Vigliotti, ’16, and Jessica Mrdjenovich, ’16, all ended up in double digits. Mrjdjenovich finished second with 16 points while Hoffman, Vigliotti and Pellicano each contributed 10.
While Zidek led the Gator offensive attack, the sophomore said that it was a total team effort.
“The whole team played well together,” Zidek said. “We had five players in double digits.”
Oberlin started the game with a one point lead. Zedik helped the team rise out of the one point deficit with a three pointer putting the score at 12-10. Vigliotti then scored five points in two minutes to make the score 19-10 in favor of Allegheny.
The team showed up defensively as well, pressuring Oberlin into bad shots and crippling mistakes. The Gators scored 24 points off of turnovers.
“We came in strong defensively forcing them to make shots,” said Costanzo.
Pellicano agreed with her coach.
“We changed our defensive play during the game and that helped us a lot,” said Pellicano.
Although the Gators dominated most of the first half, Oberlin closed the gap with two three pointers to put the score at 33-28. Mrdjenovich answered with a three of her own before a last second three by Oberlin made it 43-37.
During halftime, administrators Joseph DiChristina and Portia Hoeg took over the court for a three point competition to help raise money for Play4Kay event. Portia dominated the contest, scoring three baskets to Joe D’s two. The loser had to double the funds that were raised prior to the shootout.
The Gators started the second half strong with a three pointer from Zidek. Oberlin answered back with a flurry of points to narrow the gap to 52-50. The Gators responded with consecutive threes from both Zidek and Mrdjenovich, putting the score at 58-50. Hoffman followed with a layup followed by two free throws, leaving Oberlin behind by nine.
“There are days where we struggle,” said Costanzo. “This was not one of them.”
Later the second half, Kaitlyn Fromknecht, ’16, drove the ball for consecutive layups. Her two ensuing free throws gave the Gators a 17 point lead over Oberlin, the largest lead of the game.
The Lady Gators ended the game with a 52 percent three point average, while Oberlin only managed 36 percent. Zidek made five of her six attempted threes.The team was the picture of efficiency from the free throw line, going five for five from the charity stripe.
“Oberlin is a very competitive team, said Costanzo. “They never stop playing. It was a game of runs, but they couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Gators next travel to Delaware, Ohio for a matchup against Ohio Wesleyan University. The game is slated to start at 1 p.m.