Despite Tough End, Future Bright for Women’s Basketball


Courtesy of Erik Andrews

Senior guard Christina Marquette dribbles past a defender in an NCAC playoff game against Wittenberg University on Sunday. Marquette finishes her career holding the all-time scoring and rebound record for Oberlin women’s basketball as one of the most decorated players in the program’s history.

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team saw its record-breaking season come to an end last Tuesday when the Yeowomen fell to the visiting Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops by a score of 75–58. A raucous crowd of 456 was in attendance to witness the Yeowomen’s first home playoff game since 1990.

The Yeowomen hung tough with the Battling Bishops for over half the game, as junior Lindsey Bernhardt tied the game at 39 points with 17:53 to go in the second half with a three-pointer. It was all Bishops from there, however, as they capitalized on 13 second-half turnovers by the Yeowomen to earn a 17-point victory.

After the game, Head Coach Kerry Jenkins attributed the sluggish second half to the effects of a long season of hard work.

“Their effort and their investment was extraordinary, and I think at the very end, they just kind of wore down,” he said. “They still fought to the very end, but we were a team that had to work hard and play really well in order to be successful, and I think that the tank was on ‘E’ at the very end.”

The loss capped a 14–12 season, in which the Yeowomen set a new school record of 10 conference wins.

Star senior forward Christina Marquette said the difference this year from past years was the level of commitment from the team.

“Everybody bought in from the beginning,” she said. “We all sacrificed a lot. Even once classes started, people were coming in throughout the day to get in individual workouts.”

Jenkins acknowledged that setting the record for conference wins was a solid achievement, but that the team’s goals going forward don’t revolve around regular-season wins.

“We want to advance further within the conference tournament,” he said. “I don’t know that our express goals are ever going to be about how many wins we have. I think that we’d established a pattern of development that requires us to drop some games early to develop a bench and develop personnel.”

In her last ever college game, Marquette headlined yet again for the Yeowomen. Scoring 22 points and pulling down seven rebounds, she capped off a historic season with an average of 18.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

After seeing the Yeowomen finish well below .500 in each of her previous three seasons with the team, Marquette found the early exit from the playoffs an especially tough pill to swallow.

“None of us thought we were going to lose that game,” she said.

Though Tuesday was the last time Marquette will step on the floor for the Yeowomen, her influence on the women’s basketball program and the entire athletics department will not soon be forgotten.

“She has really shown people what it means and what it looks like to be committed,” said Delta Lodge Director of Athletics Natalie Winkelfoos. “I think that’s created a model for other student-athletes. … She knows what it means to work hard. She is in the gym constantly, working on her fitness, working on her shot, but she also studies the game. She is quality, and she is a wonderful young woman who is going to go far in this life.”

Going forward, Head Coach Kerry Jenkins knows Marquette’s stellar production won’t be easily replaced.

“There’s going to be a huge, cavernous hole on our team next year with Christina graduating, and that’s not going to be filled by one person,” he said.

Losing Marquette will certainly present a great set of challenges for the Yeowomen, but with Jenkins at the helm, Winkelfoos is confident about the future of the women’s basketball team.

“I think what [ Jenkins] brings to his program is a true sense of consistency,” she said. “He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, and I think that his players understand that and know when they come to practice that it’s time to go to work.”

Despite the sudden end to the season, that consistency was as evident as ever after the game. Jenkins told the team after the game on Tuesday not to hang their heads and that there are great things ahead of them.