Women’s basketball bounces back with strong win

Matt Olszewski

Senior Sports Writer

Although the Wooster women’s basketball team’s season has not been as positive as they hoped it would be, there have for sure been strong moments throughout. One of those positives came on Wednesday, Jan. 29 when the Scots defeated the Gators of Allegheny College by a final score of 84-79 at Timken Gymnasium. The win ended a three-game skid and Maria Janasko ’21 scored a career- high 29 points. She also tied for a team-high eight rebounds.

Another impactful player was Cat Fiorito ’20 who had 10 assists, making that the second time this season she had 10 or more assists in a game. The Scots had pretty balanced contributions from most players, but Janasko was the force to be reckoned with on offense. She was difficult to stop offensively, knocking down 10 of 14 shots from the floor. In practice, the Scots have been honing in on rebounding and their press.

Akwia Tilton ’20 and Masani Francis ’22 each scored 10 points for the Scots, while Aubri McKoy ’20 and Sarah Marion ’22 had eight points. McKoy had eight rebounds and Marion had seven. Wooster was very noticeable on the glass, as they grabbed 42 rebounds to the Gators’ 35. Francis commented on how the interior presence affected other parts of their game. “We got the ball into our post players and they finished well, which allowed for outside shots to open up as well,” she said. The Gators had five players in double figures. Their leading scorer was Rylee Donovan ’21 who had 19 points.

After a strong first quarter in which the Scots outscored the Gators 21-13, the Gators battled back and went up 37- 33 at halftime. Wooster then outscored Allegheny 22-16 in the third quarter and 29-26 in the fourth quarter. Late in the game, McKoy scored six straight points for the Scots after Allegheny cut the deficit to 68-67. Just after, Tilton hit a three-pointer to give the Scots a crucial basket with 1:58 remaining. The Scots then hit enough free throws from the line to maintain the lead until the clock struck zero.

Wooster shot 29-68 from the field in the game 42.6 percent, and Allegheny shot 33-63 (52.4 percent). The difference in the game was points off turnovers and the rebounding margin. The Scots had six more assists than the Gators and they outscored them 25-17 in terms of points off turnovers. The Scots also had eight more fast- break points and eight more second chance points. All of these combined to give the Scots the upper hand in the game and eventually the five- point conference win.

The team definitely has a positive outlook, despite the team’s record. “We as a team have been through a lot this season, but seeing how we overcome each obstacle has been uplifting,” said Francis. She also described her favorite part about the “team” aspect of basketball. “I love the energy and support that comes from playing on a team, and that energy on the floor and on the bench is crucial in winning games,” Francis remarked. When asked the same question, Tilton talked about relying on each other. “I love getting to have everyone’s back, and knowing they have mine.

When we trust each other we play well, and the game flows,” she said. The biggest highlights of this season so far according to Tilton, have been their wins against Oberlin College and Allegheny College. The Scots will look to pick up some more strong wins and eventually qualify for the NCAC tournament.

The Scots will face Ohio Wesleyan at home on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1:00 p.m.

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