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First Quarter Pressure Gives Women's Basketball Win at Muskingum

Photo by Randy Sarvis
Photo by Randy Sarvis

NEW CONCORD, Ohio - The Wilmington College women's basketball team outscored Muskingum University 24-10 in the first quarter en route to a 73-60 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) road win on Wednesday evening.

The victory, the Quakers' 37th in 42 games over the Fighting Muskies since becoming a member of NCAA Division III prior to the 1991-92 season, snapped a three-game OAC losing skid.

Wilmington got off to the quick start by forcing seven Muskingum turnovers in the first quarter. That along with three triples from Kelly Noll had the Quakers up double-digits after 10 minutes.

The Muskies, who have yet to win an OAC contest this season, didn't lay down as a 10-1 run to begin the second quarter had the hosts within five points (25-20) with 4:34 to play until halftime. A triple from Brooke Davis on the ensuing possession pushed the Quakers' lead back up eight as the visitors rode that advantage to a 31-24 halftime lead.

Wilmington, which entered the game with a 6-3 record when up at halftime, was determined to avoid a slow third quarter as Noll scored on the period's opening possession. A Faith Teaford triple a minute later put the Quakers up 36-26, but baskets from Muskingum kept the visitor's advantage from getting out of hand. Wilmington would lead 52-38 after three quarters thanks to two baskets from McKayla Binkley at the end of the period and looked to put Muskingum out of the game as the first two baskets of the fourth put the Quakers on top 56-38.

Similar to the second quarter, the Muskies wouldn't surrender just yet, putting together a 17-8 run capped by a triple from Olivia Lang to get back within single digits (64-55) with 4:15 to play. Wilmington responded with the next six points including two baskets from McKayla Binkley to go ahead 70-55. The Quakers would maintain a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Wilmington shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field along with 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from distance and 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the free throw line. The Quakers also held Muskingum to under 31 percent from both the field and the three-point arc. The Muskies made just 57.1 percent (8-of-14) of their attempts from the free throw line, but did win the rebounding battle 46-45, marking the first time this season Wilmington has won a game in which it didn't outrebound its opponent.

Individually, McKayla Binkley finished with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with four rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Noll (11 points) and Teaford (10 points) also scored in double figures with Teaford leading the rebounding effort with seven boards. Both Savannah Hooper and Kennedy Lewis dished out four assists.

Emily Yeager and Sam Filiaggi combined for 29 points to lead Muskingum in defeat.

Wilmington stands at 8-8 overall and 3-6 in OAC play. The Quakers host the University of Mount Union at 1 p.m on Saturday (note the time change).