Patience and Persistence Pay Off for Yeowomen
Last week’s loss to Kenyon did not faze the Yeowomen as they defeated Hiram College 72-63 Wednesday night in Philips Gymnasium. First-year Alyssa Clark, junior Jessie Oram and first-year Kira Rivera led the pack in scoring with a combined total of 50 points, giving their team its fourth win of the season.
The atmosphere of Philips Gymnasium was pretty low at the beginning of the first quarter, characterized by empty stands and silence. That quickly changed as the momentum of the game picked up while both teams pounded on points.
Oberlin came out playing with what looked to be a 1-3-1 defense, making it difficult to get the ball into the hands of star forward Cassie Bedard of Hiram. Despite the 13 turnovers in the first half, Oberlin’s momentum remained high.
Oberlin kept their juice up through hard screens by first-year Mandi Van Allen and multiple Rivera to Clark give-and-gos. Hiram didn’t give up as their tremendous ball movement gave them a lot of open shots and lay-ups.
First-year guard Stephanie Zunic of Hiram hit a huge three-pointer with 1:30 remaining in the half, giving the Terriers the lead. But Rivera came right back and nailed one behind the arc, making the score 31-32 Hiram.
Hiram’s 13 offensive rebounds in the first half were enough for the Yeowomen to think about, as they jogged into the locker room leading 33- 32 at the half.
Oberlin came out right away in the second half with two quick baskets by Oram and Reitz. Up by five points with 17 minutes remaining in the game, Rivera knocked down a clutch three-pointer.
Already up 41-33, the Yeowomen didn’t quit as Clark drew a foul, creating a three-point play opportunity. Hiram immediately called a timeout, as Oberlin’s bench went bananas. Oberlin led by as many as 11 points, with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Hiram picked up their style of play thanks to second-year guard Brandi Turner and her outstanding three-point shooting. All of a sudden Hiram took the lead 59-58 with crisp free throw shooting by Michelle Kozempa.
Oberlin quickly charged up with great defense from Clark and Rivera and baskets by Oram and Reitz. Frustration set in on Hiram’s Coach Don Feren as he was charged with a technical foul at the end of the game.
“That was a great game and a good win for us,” said Coach Champion. “This was a great team effort and we got big scoring off our bench.”
“I’m mostly excited about the composure,” said Oram. “The most important part of it is that because we won this game we’re still in the fight to get to the playoffs.”
“We had four people in double figures and it was a must win for us,” said Clark. “To get to the playoffs, everyday we got to bring it in practices and games. Our team right now doesn’t feel like we’re going to lose.”
“Everybody came out and did what they had to do,” said Rivera. “We only have eight people, so we don’t have a bench to turn to like other teams. If we keep the team together, we can overcome any team.”
Oberlin is now 4-19 and are playing Saturday at Ursuline College at 3:30 pm.