Wittenberg hosted Oberlin on Saturday February 22 for the Tiger’s last game of the regular season. The midday matchup honored three senior team members as it was the last home ball game of their collegiate careers. The walls of Pam Evans Smith Arena were decorated with posters commemorating the hard work and efforts put forth by Amber Rice, Kiley McCollough, and Coach Lily Watson over their time spent at Witt.
The game opened up in Wittenberg’s favor as the Tigers did not hesitate to take hold of the lead that they would possess until the end of the game. As the two teams left the court for halftime, Witt topped Oberlin with a modest cushion of 11 points. As the players returned to the court after the break, it appeared that visiting squad was poised to close the gap, whittling the Tiger lead down to just six points with just under 12 minutes left in the match. As the pressure mounted the Tigers remained cool and collected, fighting back with an air-tight defense and seemingly inexorable offensive attack. By the time the clock ran out Wittenberg had effectively managed to remove any anxiety that may have been held by their fans 12 minutes earlier, sending away a defeated Oberlin with a score of 88-62.
With the Win, the Tigers were able to elevate their season record to 14-10 with a 9-7 record in conference. Senior Amber Rice was an unstoppable presence on offense, draining a ridiculous 30 points in her last regular season game as a Tiger and bringing her season points-per-game average to a whopping 17.2. Her massive point-earning efforts were supported by Juniors Heather Schroeder and Katelyn Haralamos. Schroeder netted a commendable 17 points while Haralamos tacked on an additional 12 to her credit.
The defensive half of the game was spearheaded by Freshman Riley Mcdonald who was responsible for one quarter of the team’s 12 total steals. Sophomore Ali Miller was able to notch 7 rebounds, 6 of which were recovered on the defensive half of the court, further adding to the turnover count.
The Tigers now look to their upcoming game at Kenyon on Tuesday the 25th. The post season matchup will determine who will enter the Semi-final round of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament. Having met twice in the regular season to split outcomes, Wittenberg will need to best the Lords who sit just one position ahead of them in the NCAC standings at the season’s close in order to move on in the tournament. It’s sure to be a competitive spectacle.