Women’s basketball team perseveres against Mount Union’s Purple Raiders

Women’s basketball team defines what their standard looks like while playing against

After a tough loss to unranked Marietta on Jan. 28, the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets women’s basketball team bounced back with a 66-40 win over the Mount Union Purple Raiders on Feb. 1. 

“We played a lot harder this game,” junior Carolyn Wochele, the former Mentor Cardinal who picked up two rebounds, said. 

The Brown and Gold Brigade went on a 12-0 run in the first quarter, and after the Raiders scored the next four points the Jackets went crazy on Mount Union, scoring 18 unanswered. This run lasted from the first quarter to midway through the second quarter. 

“A lot of it came from crashing the boards, [Head] Coach [Cheri Harrer] emphasized that a lot this past week. Just like getting on the glass, offensively and especially defensively, and I think that sparked a lot of our runs and put us in a good transition and got us up early,” Center Bella Vaillant, who led both teams with 16 points, said. 

BW improved to an 18-2 record on the 2022-23 campaign, with an 11-2 record in the Ohio Athletic Conference. (The team now stands at 19-3, and 12-3 in conference play.) 

While the Yellow Jackets outscored the Raiders 38-14 in the first half, they only outscored Mount Union 28-26 in the second half.  

“We talked a lot about playing to our standard, and today we kind of showed what that standard looks like. Just keep in mind playing that way for a full 40 minutes, and we’re still working towards that, but today was a really good step forward for us after last game,” Wochele said. 

It was also the first win the Yellow Jackets have had over Mount Union in Berea all season. The women’s soccer team lost earlier this season at Finnie, the men’s basketball team lost in overtime to the Raiders at Ursprung and the football team lost on the final play at home. 

Meanwhile, in Alliance, the Purple Raiders had their way with the BW men’s team, winning by a large margin of 102-69. Senior Anthony Mazzeo led all Yellow Jackets with 21 points, and Jack Simmons wasn’t far behind him with 17. 

Since the Feb. 1 victory over the Raiders, the Jackets women followed with a 1-1 record. On Feb. 4, the team dropped a 58-55 decision to unranked Otterbein on the road. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, what could be the squad’s toughest test of the season, BW rebounded with a 66-62 win over no. 10 Ohio Northern in overtime.  

BW has just two more games to go before it’s time for the O.A.C. tournament, as they look to win the title in back-to-back years. The Jackets next face John Carroll on Feb. 11. (Note: This edition of The Exponent was printed before the conclusion of the game), with the season finale on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Capitol.