After two impressive wins over the California Institute of Technology and Occidental College during a trip to California over Thanksgiving break, the Yeowomen were unable to pull out a home victory last Tuesday over Bluffton University.
Bluffton got off to a quick start with hot shooting and was able to jump out to an 18–13 advantage midway through the first half. While the Yeowomen struggled to take care of the ball, junior Lillian Jahan and sophomore Christina Marquette both dialed in impressive three point shots.
As the first half progressed, junior guard Malisa Hoak refused to let the game get away from the Yeowomen. She scored two three-pointers coming off of high screens and converted a layup. These eight points allowed the Yeowomen to come to within four points of Bluffton with three minutes left in the half. However, Bluffton clamped down and ended the half on a 5–0 run to push their lead to 33–23 at the break.
In the second half, Oberlin continued to try to chip away at Bluffton’s lead and were able to close within five points on junior Allison Gannon’s layup and free throw that cut the score to 54–49. That was as close as the score got as Bluffton continued to shoot the ball extremely well from mid-range and behind the three-point line. Gannon finished as the top scorer for the Yeowomen with fifteen points, and Hoak finished right behind her with fourteen.
Marquette noted that the Yeowomen sometimes struggle to maintain possession.
“We just need to make better decisions,” Marquette said. “Sometimes we'll make passes that are a little forced, or we'll panic under pressure. Bluffton was the first team that really tried to step into the passing lanes and get steals. That probably threw us off a little.”
As the competition gets tougher, the Yeowomen hope to become more accustomed to added pressure and are optimistic about their chances.
“We have a great team this year, and our potential has shown through in some games,” noted Gannon. “The chemistry, the talent and the determination is all there. For coming games, it’s important that we stay focused on what works for us as a team and execute those things everyday.”
The Yeowomen will work towards these goals to improve their 4–2 record when they open North Coast Athletic Conference play against Wittenberg University at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.