SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Earlham Quakers forced 30 turnovers with an active full-court pressure defense and broke a 13-year losing streak to Wittenberg in a 57-50 victory in the first round of the Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic.
The loss followed a 13-day lay-off for the Tigers, who fell to 5-4 on the season. Wittenberg, which is now 50-3 all-time against Earlham, a former North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) rival, will take on another former league foe, Case Western, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, in the final game of the Zimmerman Classic.
Earlham improved to 4-5, heading into a game against Brescia, which dropped a 76-66 decision to Case Western in the first game of the Zimmerman Classic, at noon Saturday, Dec. 28. The Quakers picked up their first win against Wittenberg since January 2000.
Things started well enough for the Tigers, who jumped out to a 20-11 lead through the first 14 minutes of the game. However, Earlham closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 23-22 lead and all of the momentum into the locker room.
The second half started much the same way, with Wittenberg slowly building a lead, only to see it slip away. After sophomore Taylore Bundy (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) hit a lay-up at the 14:39 mark, the Tigers held a 35-27 advantage. Over the next 11 minutes, the Tigers managed just four more points as Earlham re-claimed the lead at 41-39 on a lay-up by Jalissa Watt at the 3:42 mark.
Five straight points staked Wittenberg to its last lead of the game at the 3:29 mark before Earlham blitzed the Tigers with 10 straight points. The Quakers held on down the stretch thanks to eight straight free throws in the final 1:21.
Wittenberg held a commanding 47-36 rebounding advantage in the game and actually shot a higher percentage than the Quakers. The statistic that jumps off the page in the final analysis is 30 turnovers for the Tigers, compared to 20 by Earlham.
Senior Amber Rice (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) led both teams with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, while junior Heather Schroeder (Aurora, Ohio/Aurora) contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Bundy added six points and a game-best 11 rebounds.