Springfield OH – After trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Wittenberg University women's basketball team outscored Heidelberg by a 42-27 margin in the second half to post a 72-68 win over the Student Princes in the championship game of the 2018 Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Tournament at Pam Evans Smith Arena. It marked the Tigers third-straight appearance in the championship game of their home Holiday Tournament, and their first home tournament championship since knocking off Hanover, 73-70, in the title game of the 2014 event.
The Tigers came out of the gates strong in the first quarter and were able to build a seven-point lead against the Student Princes after a made layup from sophomore Kristie Kalis at the 5:23 mark; however, Heidelberg clawed their way back over the final five minutes, leading to a narrow 20-19 lead for Wittenberg after the first 10 minutes of action. The Student Princes than built their 11-point halftime lead by outscoring the Tigers, 22-10, in the second quarter.
After coming out of the locker room on fire, the Tigers eventually evened the score at 43-43 at the 6:38 mark of the third quarter on an old-fashioned three-point play from senior Sydney Mayle. The second half of the third quarter proved to be a back-and-fourth affair for both teams that eventually culminated in a slim 56-54 lead for Heidelberg.
The back-and-fourth battle continued for most of the fourth quarter, with sophomore Delaney Williams pulling the score even at 68-68 on a three ball from the top of the key with 1:44 left in the game. After another three-point play for the Tigers, this time by junior Riley Culver with 1:04 left in the game, Williams sank another free throw with 49 seconds left in the game to secure the four-point win for the Tigers. It was Wittenberg's defensive pressure in the end that ultimately led to the four-point win as the Tigers held Heidelberg scoreless over the final three minutes of action.
Culver led the Tigers with 15 points after shooting 5-for-11 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line, while Williams stuffed the stat sheet in the game with 12 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Three additional Wittenberg players also hit the double-digit mark in the game, including Mayle with 11 points, while Kalis and sophomore Abigail Yunker both finished the game with 10 points each. Despite only scoring four points, Senior Amanda Raber also played a vital role in the victory with seven rebounds and two steals. Brooke Beamer paced Heidelberg in the championship game with 23 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field.
From The Bench
2018 Charles B. Zimmer Memorial All-Tournament Team
Abigail Zurcher, Dubuque
Brooke Beamer, Heidelberg
Madelyn Crawford, Heidelberg
Riley Culver, Wittenberg
Tournament MVP – Delaney Williams, Wittenberg