Written by: Sutton Jacobs '18
SPRINGFIELD, OHIO – In their first NCAC clash of the season, the Tigers down the Big Red with ease, 69-56. The red and white bounced back in the first and never relinquished their large lead. Four Tigers chip in double digit scores to help them to a win, hot off the hands of Delaney Williams (13), Alex Kiess (11), Riley Culver (10) and Sydney Mayle (10). Defensively leading the squad, Kristie Kalis grabbed 10 balls off the board, knocking on the door for the team's first double-double of the season after tacking on eight points. Williams moved the ball efficiently in favor of Wittenberg, tallying six assists on the afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED The Big Red lead off the game scoring four but come up empty afterwards, allowing the Tigers to recover and score nine straight. Wittenberg effectively defended the paint through the first, allowing only six points down low. The Tiger defensive pressure forced Big Red shots beyond the arc, who were unable to sink any until late in the third, including several uncontested. The largest lead of the first half settled at a dozen, hitting the mark three times.
Williams and Culver saw slow-starts in the first quarter but led the team through the rest of the half, putting six and five points on the board respectively. The offensive squad saw their best efficiency in the second quarter, shooting 57.1 percent on the floor. The Tigers down 26 points in the second to head into halftime ahead by 10.
The third quarter brought the Tigers their largest lead of the afternoon of 23, credited to an Abigail Crum jumper. Meanwhile, the Tiger defense powered through the quarter, not allowing double-digit points for the Big Red and holding them to 16.7 percent shooting on the floor. Led by Culver, the Tigers slashed down Denison to extend the lead with a quick 8-0 run.
The Tigers fell back slightly in the fourth quarter, allowing Denison to outscore them 17-11. The game however was all but over. While the lead diminished to seven in the fourth, the red and white followed through an impressive game in front of a home crowd for their first conference victory. The Tiger defense remained strong, allowing only three makes in the paint and another three on the perimeter. Physicality and control by Kalis allowed the starter to claim three rebounds in seven minutes to total 10.
BY THE NUMBERS The Tigers controlled the paint, outscoring the Big Red 26-18. The Tigers missed their first free throw but from there hit nine-straight, later finishing 80 percent from the line. For the fifth time this season, the Tigers record 16 assists. The team's seven offensive rebounds directly linked to the Tigers putting up seven on second chance.
Defensively, the red and white were on pace until late in the third for their third game of the season not relinquishing a basket from beyond the arc. In addition, the team edged close to their first double-double of the season from Kalis' eight points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers tallied eight defensive takeaways, contributing to 11 Tiger points off turnovers. Four starters claimed one steal while Sydney Mayle took a pair.
UP NEXT Wittenberg Women's Basketball takes their talent to Greencastle, Ind. on Wednesday for a Tiger-Tiger battle against DePauw. The red and white return to The Pam next Saturday against the Ladies of Kenyon at 2:00 PM.