In a tension-filled, non-conference game that featured 64 free throws, 51 fouls and a technical foul, the Wilmington College women's basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak with a 79-61 victory over rival-Mount St. Joseph Monday at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court.
Wilmington scored a season-high 79 points and never trailed in dispatching the Lions for a 12th consecutive time.
Three players reached double figures, including senior Makenzie Wippel (Orient, OH/Westfall), who tied her season-best with 21 points. She converted 15 free throws, which was the third most for a single game in school history, in 16 attempts.
Wippel scored 11 of her 21 points during a four-minute stretch to open the second half that allowed the Fightin' Quakers to push its lead to 16 points, doubling their halftime advantage. Seven of those 11 came from the free throw line.
However, the feisty Lions refused to go away quietly.
Mount St. Joseph trimmed its deficit to 10 with a little more than 10 minutes remaining, but a driving lay-up by freshman Brittaney Jefferson (Dayton, OH/Chaminade Julienne) and free throws from senior Haley Howard (Uhrichsville, OH/New Philadelphia) stymied the momentum.
"They were able to make a run at us," said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. "Brittaney had the bust out lay-up, and the ability to answer their run was the key to the outcome."
Immediately after having its lead trimmed to 10, Wilmington countered with seven straight as part of the game-deciding 24-9 run.
Howard scored at least 10 points for the sixth time in seven games, tallying 16 points. Jefferson in her first career start, finished with 14 points, tied a career-high with six rebounds and added a team-high three steals. Jefferson has now recorded a steal in nine of Wilmington's 11 games.
The Fightin' Quakers did a great job on the Mount St. Joseph's leading scorer, Tara Dennis, limiting her to just nine points.
"I thought we stuck to our defensive game plan to limit Dennis' touches without giving up easy jumpers," said Scheve.
Wilmington (5-6) returns to Ohio Athletic Conference action 3 p.m. Saturday, facing the Student Princes of Heidelberg.