The Wooster women’s basketball team played their home opener against the Franciscan Barons on Saturday, Nov. 13 in the Timken Gymnasium. Following a 12-point loss to a talented Capital University team, the Fighting Scots appeared eager to redeem themselves and claim a monumental first win for the team. A win for the Scots on Saturday would also be the first win for newly-appointed Head Coach Mary Kate Tierney’s reign at the helm of the women’s basketball team.
The game got off to a slow start as neither team could find a consistent rhythm on the offensive side of the court. Franciscan found the answer to their slow start with dominant post play. Wooster seemed unable to slow down the Barons through the early stages of the game. Harley Holloway ’24 recalled the slow start after the game saying, “I think we started off a little slower than we expected, but in the end we really pulled through and got our priorities in order. I thought the whole team played very well together and [we] were able to stay consistent enough throughout the second half in order to win.”
Wooster’s lackluster start carried on throughout the first quarter as they trailed by one point heading into the second quarter with the score at 14-13. Not much changed in the second quarter as the Scots’ offense seemed to be stuck in a rut, mustering only eight points in the second quarter to the Barons’ 13. The Barons walked off the court stretching their lead to 26-21 as the halftime buzzer sounded. Down five after a debilitating second quarter, it would have been easy for the Scots to pack it up, tuck their tails and run, but the Fighting Scots that ran back on the court for the second half were determined and ready to take the fight to the Barons. Franciscan’s inability to pull away would come back to bite them as Wooster proved to be the better team for the rest of the afternoon.
The Scots’ stellar guard play and sheer desire allowed them to produce 24 points, a number greater than what they had produced in the entire first half. Jenna Stanton ’22 scored seven of the Scots’ third quarter points. She had the following to say about the Scots’ electric third quarter: “I’m really proud of the team for how we fought back in the second half. Our third quarter was huge for us and everybody stepped up and filled their role. I’m excited for us to keep building off this win.” Holloway scored 10 of the Scots’ third quarter points as Masani Francis ’22 and Krista English ’22 each added three points in the quarter. As the third quarter drew to a close, it was clear that Wooster had taken the game’s momentum and on the final play of the quarter, Holloway grabbed hold of a loose ball and raced down the court to notch a buzzer-beating layup. This play put an exclamation point on Wooster’s comeback and tied the game at 45 going into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, the Barons showed some resilience as the two teams battled back and forth until a Melissa Burtscher ’24 three-pointer gave the Scots a five-point lead that they would hold on to for the remainder of the game. Franciscan responded with a three ball of their own, but they would not see another lead on Saturday afternoon as Wooster managed the final minutes of the game well. Alyssa Chritz ’24 stretched the lead to seven with two minutes left, pushing the game out of reach for the Barons and burying them once and for all. After Saturday’s game Chritz said, “I thought it was a good team win overall; everyone contributed in different ways. It was really nice to win our home-opener and have a positive start to the season.” Chritz was vital to Wooster’s success on Saturday as she contributed a team-high of 11 rebounds to go along with her four assists. Holloway and Stanton finished the game off with efficient free throw shooting and as the final buzzer sounded the Scots were victorious. Francis served as one of the team’s leaders and through her impassioned play as she added 12 points, three steals and two rebounds to the Scots’ tally. Francis was overjoyed by Saturday’s victory saying, “We had a lot of players step up in different ways and I think overall it was a good team win.”
Wooster’s 65-56 win over Franciscan 65-56 brings them to 1-1 on the season as they head into a week that will see them play three games with two home fixtures and one away. Coach Tierney led her Fighting Scots to their first win under her direction showing that Timken Gymnasium and Tierney may be a perfect match.
Come support your Fighting Scots Basketball Teams at their respective tournaments over the weekend, here in the Timken Gymnasium.