Battling Bishops Capitalize on Strong Second Period in Win Over Wooster

Akwia Tilton

DELAWARE, Ohio – First-year Akwia Tilton tallied a season-best 12 points, but a big second period pulled the Battling Bishops away for good as Ohio Wesleyan University topped The College of Wooster women's basketball team, 75-47, on Saturday afternoon at Branch Rickey Arena in Delaware, Ohio.

Tilton paced the Fighting Scots' transition effort early and often, getting to the foul line seven times – connecting on four – in the opening period, including on an and-one opportunity after a hard cut to the lane, with Orr providing to deft dish to bring the Scots (2-21, 1-13 North Coast Athletic Conference) within five (14-9) with 2:03 remaining in the first.

The Battling Bishops (10-13, 7-7 NCAC) responded with five unanswered points before Orr connected from deep for her second 3-pointer of the period with 43 ticks left in the period.

Meanwhile, Ohio Wesleyan's Megan Kuether, who entered the game as the NCAC's leading scorer with 18.0 points per game, tallied eight first-period points as the Bishops took a 19-12 advantage into the second period. Of note, Orr and Tilton accounted for all 12 of Wooster's first-period points.

By the end of the contest, Kuether would end up matching her average exactly, totaling 18 points on 15 shots, while Tilton led the Scots in points (12) and rebounds (8).

Ohio Wesleyan distanced themselves to start the second, posting an 18-0 run with four 3-point plays – one old fashion three-point play along and three 3-pointers – to spark the run. First-year Cat Fiorito got the Scots on the board with 2:40 left in the half, converting on two attempts at the foul line before dishing an assist to Tilton to cut the deficit to 23 (41-18) on Wooster's ensuing offensive possession.

Tilton's layup marked the start of a 10-5 Scots' run, while Fiorito continued her offensive pressure with a layup at the 1:41 mark and dish to senior Rachel Collins, who connected from deep at the 1:09 mark to make it a 40-19 OWU advantage.

Lisa Zeller extended the Bishop's advantage with three consecutive free throws, only to be matched by Wooster as senior Danielle Besancon (1) and sophomore Anna Gibbs (2) went 3-of-4 combined from the line down the stretch as OWU took a 43-24 lead into the break.

Of note, Fiorito contributed on nine of Wooster 12 second-period points.

In the third, Christina Vukovich responded to a layup from Nicole Popovich with an over-the-shoulder put-back off an offensive rebound to shrink the deficit t0 19, but on the ensuing OWU possession, Kuether connected on her first 3-pointer of the day to draw the Bishops ahead by 22.

After a fastbreak layup from Gibbs off the steal from junior Aki Shurelds, the Bishops went on a 9-0 streak as part of a period-closing 13-2 run, with junior Katie Mandych logging the Scots' contribution with two makes at the foul line.

Of note, Shurelds moved past Suzanne Roberts (1995-98) into eighth all-time in program hitsory in three-pointers made with 85 after going 1-of-5 from beyond the arc on Saturday.

The Scots outscored the Bishops, 17-14, in the fourth period behind seven points from Collins, who totaled 10 on the day, while Gibbs paced the Scots in the assists department with a team-best four.

Wooster resumes action against Kenyon College (17-6, 11-3 NCAC) on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m.