Wilmington upends Rose-Hulman

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The Wilmington College women's basketball team didn't allow the disappointment of playing in the consolation game of the 2013 Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament effect them Saturday as they posted the 53-40 victory over Rose-Hulman.

With the victory, Wilmington evened its record at 2-2, while the Engineers fell to 0-3.

"Our focus was much better today," said head coach Jerry Scheve. "We didn't like the fact we were playing in the consolation game, but we treated it like an important game. We got better this weekend. Rose-Hulman is a solid, well-coached team. We executed our defensive game plan tonight. There were a lot of mismatches on the court, and we are able to take their size advantage."

Wilmington swarmed the post, refusing to allow the bigger Engineers to get the ball close to the basket. The plan enabled the Fightin' Quakers to hold a 28-18 advantage on points in the paint. It also limited RHIT to a paltry 29.4 percent shooting (15-of-51) from the field. They swarmed to the glass as well, claiming a 34-32 rebounding advantage.

Without scoring a single basket, sophomore Whitney Barfknecht (Vandalia, OH/Butler) was the key to WC success.

"Whitney did a great job of helping the post by preventing the ball from getting to the block," said Scheve. "It was a complete team effort. It was an obvious strength of their team and we did a good job of stopping it. Whitney and Lexi (Kingsbery) gave us quality, important minutes off the bench."

Senior Bethany Ahrens (Versailles, OH/Versailles) and junior Spencer Robles (Clyde, OH/Clyde) scored five points each during Wilmington's 13-1 run toward the latter portion of the first half, allowing WC to open its lead to 10 points.

After taking an eight-point lead into the half, a quick 7-0 spurt in the early part of the second half pushed Wilmington's lead back to double figures. The lead grew to as much as 16 points before RHIT put one last run together. They scored 10 of the next 12 points to pull to within eight points, but freshman Brittaney Jefferson literally stole the momentum.

Rose-Hulman had possession, down eight, when Jefferson swooped in for a steal and fastbreak lay-up to push the advantage back to 10 with 4:10 remaining. The Engineers scored one basket for the remainder of the game.

Senior Makenzie Wippel (Orient, OH/Westfall), who was named to the All-Tournament team, finished with a team-high 11 points and seven rebounds. Robles added nine points, while Jefferson talled seven points and team-high three steals.

Junior Courtney Tucker (Cincinnati, OH/Sycamore) added seven rebounds and senior Haley Howard (Uhrichsville, OH/New Philadelphia) had a team-high five assists.

Wilmington returns to the court 3 p.m. Saturday with its first road contest of the season at Earlham in Richmond, IN.