Women’s basketball defeated the ladies of Kenyon College, 46-65 on Saturday, Feb. 1. The Tigers returned home following a 57-45 defeat last Wednesday, Jan. 29 on the road against No. 4 DePauw.
The Tigers started the first quarter at full speed, as they quickly took a 2-7 lead in the first two minutes off shots from Kristie Kalis (’21), Korynne Berner (’20), and Riley Culver (’20). The Tigers kept Kenyon at an arm’s length for much of the quarter until the Ladies brought the game within one with 1:22 left in the first. The Tigers held a slim 10-11 lead over the Ladies, until Delaney Williams (’21) made a layup with 38 seconds left. The Tigers outshot the Ladies in the first quarter, completing five of 12 field goals and one of three three-pointers.
Wittenberg started off the second quarter on the wrong foot as Berner gave up the ball to the Ladies, who then missed a layup. This set the tone for the second half as The Tigers lead eroded. Kenyon made a three-pointer and a layup to take the lead, 15-14, with seven left in the first half. The Tigers clawed back a slim lead off a layup by Kalis, which was canceled out by a Kenyon layup on their next possession. Kenyon held the lead 17-16 with six minutes to play. The Tigers kept within striking distance even as the Kenyon Ladies increased their lead to 23-18.
The Tigers clawed back within three as Culver sank a jump shot. Kalis tied the game at 23 with 2:23 left in the half as she drained a three-pointer. Kalis placed The Tigers on top again as she dropped a jump shot with 1:09 left in the half. Tigers led the Ladies, 23-25, at the half.
Wittenberg returned from the locker room refreshed after halftime and continued their offensive onslaught as Williams sank a three-pointer within the first 45 seconds of the third quarter. The score remained unchanged for two minutes until Kalis snagged a defensive rebound and passed to Culver who drained a jump shot. Williams kept the momentum going by stealing from the Ladies and getting the ball into the hands of Berner for a layup.
Kenyon then halted progress by calling a timeout, but the Tigers were unaffected as Williams made a three-pointer to lead Kenyon, 23-35 with 5:43 left in the third. Wittenberg’s scoring run was finally ended at 19 points as Kenyon scored the first two of their eight points in the third with 3:42 left. The Tigers led Kenyon, 27-39. Abigail Yunker (’21) increased the Tigers lead to 30-41 with 1:41 left and managed to draw a foul, sending her to the line. Yunker shot 100% for free throws on the night, making all five of her attempts. The Tigers ended the quarter leading the Ladies, 31-47.
Kenyon started the fourth quarter off with a bang as they completed a three-pointer in the first 23 seconds. Tigers led 34-47. The score then remained unchanged until a Kenyon foul sent Samantha Wyatt (’22) to the line for two. Kenyon then went on a five-point run which brought them within ten points. The Tigers responded as Berner went vertical for a layup with 7:14 left in the game. Berner was sent to the line nearly a minute later off a Kenyon foul and made both of her free throws. Wittenberg led Kenyon, 39-53 with 6:36 left to play.
Kenyon failed to respond to the Tigers’ attacks in the fourth quarter until there were two minutes to play, pulling the lead within 20 points off a two-point jump shot. Tigers led the Ladies, 41-61.
The Tigers kept possession of the ball for the majority of the final two minutes. Head Coach Kelly Mahlum also pulled several players off her bench for the final few minutes including Mone’t Allen (’23), who accounted for The Tigers’ last five points.
“Its always great when you can get players in at the end, [Allen] has been working hard since the beginning of the season, and we haven’t been able to get her on the floor,” Mahlum said in a post-game interview with Wittenberg Athletics. “And it’s so good to see that she is able to see some of that work pay off.”
The Tigers’ were led by Kalis who accounted for 16 points. Berner achieved a double-double, with 10 rebounds and 12 points. The Tigers outshot Kenyon, completing 41.8% compared to the Ladies 31.6%. The Tigers are hitting the road Friday to face Hiram at 6pm, before heading into Pennsylvania to face the Gators of Allegheny on Saturday at 4pm.