BW Downs Otterbein, Inches Closer to OAC Championship


Three days after beating Otterbein University to end the regular season, the No. 10 nationally ranked Baldwin Wallace women’s basketball team defeated Otterbein, 87-59, to extend their winning streak to 10 games, and advance to the OAC Semifinals.

This time was different than Saturday, when the team raced out to a 24-14 lead, and then sailed to a 68-50 victory at Otterbein. On Tuesday night, BW played the host, and the Cardinals looked to spoil BW’s magical season.

But even after they took a punch to the gut in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets did what they’ve done best this season. They punched back, but harder.

After being outscored by 14 points in the first quarter, BW stormed back in the second quarter and through the second half, outscoring the Otterbein Cardinals by 42 points in the last three quarters to come back and win 87-59 inside the Ursprung Gymnasium.

The Yellow Jackets opened the game with an easy layup, but as quickly as they took the lead, the Yellow Jackets squandered it away, and Otterbein took an early lead.

Otterbein would end up going on a 8-0 run, and knocking down 5-of-6 three point shots in the first quarter and the Yellow Jackets found themselves down big early, facing a 25-11 deficit after one quarter.

Then something clicked.

Harrer said it was something simple, “We just picked up our intensity and energy,” Harrer said, smiling. “We just came out flat and kind of let them do whatever they wanted to do. I thought we did a better job taking away threes from their three-point shooters and making them try to make tough twos and that was the game plan the entire time, we just didn’t follow it early on.”

The Yellow Jackets fought back, and with a 9-0 run of their own BW they would outscore Otterbein by 16 points in the second quarter. With 1:58 left in the second quarter they would tie the game, and just 20 seconds later they would retake the lead, and not look back.

After taking the lead, the focal point of the entire season came back into focus. “Defense and getting stops,” Harrer said. “It’s so much harder for teams when they are struggling on offense and generally there’s a carry-over effect. When they’re not getting buckets on offense it’s harder for them to give that same level of effort on defense and we can take advantage.”

BW would shoot nearly 66% from the field over the last three quarters to win, on route to their 28 point victory.

Leading the charge for the Yellow Jackets was senior Hannah Fecht, who had 17 points, but she was joined by four other teammates with double digit scoring. Two other starters, Kara Marshall and Riley Schill poured in 14 and 11 points respectively. Off the bench, Megan Hensel scored 12 and Gabby Garrett put in 10 of her own. Even with the 64 combined points, Harrer was quick to point back to the defensive side of the ball, “The biggest thing was defensive,” Harrer said. “We always pride ourselves on

the balance, we know we can’t shut down just one person because other players will step up once you try to do that. That’s why we geared everything that way, and defensively is where we really hang our head on.”

This isn’t Harrer’s first tournament, in fact it’s her 20th time leading a team to a victory inside the OAC tournament, so she is used to the shortened time frame between games. BW will a full day less of preparation time, and Harrer knows how they will use their one day off, “Mostly mental, watching film and scouting,” Harrer said. “Not a whole lot on the court, we’ll try to get some shots up and stay sharp for Thursday.”

The Yellow Jackets will be back in action on Thursday night, inside the Ursprung Gymnasium where they will host Marietta College, after they got past Capital University.