TIFFIN -- Home, sweet alma home.
In their home opener, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team knocked off visiting Bluffton University by a final score of 68-55 on the eve of Thanksgiving. In doing so, the Student Princes picked up their first win on the new hardwood inside Seiberling Gymnasium, which was renovated a year ago.
"It feels great to get that weight off our shoulders," said Heidelberg head coach Morgan Harrigan. "Winning at home was a goal of everyone's on the team, so it feels great to check that box off on the first try this season."
Heidelberg (2-2) controlled much of the game, only twice relinquishing the lead early on. A fairly even first quarter ended with the score knotted at 11.
Bluffton (1-3) saw their first lead at 11-9 late in the first frame. The Beavers would only manage a 15-13 lead early in the second-frame before The Student Princes established their control for the rest of the contest.
Heidelberg out-shot Bluffton 42% to 21% across the second frame building an eight point lead by the half. Alyssa Riley collected six of her team-high 14 points in the second quarter to help the Berg build their 28-20 lead at the break.
Bluffton whittled away the deficit to a narrow five-point margin, before Brittanie Ulmer and Jasmine Thomas each collected buckets sandwiched around a Riley jumper to extend the lead up to 12 midway through the third.
After a brief back-and-forth, a Mattie Overmyer jump shot ended the frame with the Berg in firm control 47-34.
Overmyer picked up right where she left off at the start of the fourth quarter as she nailed a three-point attempt to send the Seiberling Gymnasium crowd into a frenzy. The Berg continued to build on that lead throughout the fourth, led by freshman Jasmine Thomas's career night.
Thomas strung together seven of her career-high 11 points across the fourth quarter. A big three-point play with just over three minutes left in the game built out the Berg's largest lead of the night at 19.
Crawford collected her second double-double of the season, and the tenth of her career with 13 total rebounds.
"I'm thankful for commitment that we showed on the defensive end of the floor," said Harrigan, whose players were able to head home for the holiday after the game. "I'm thankful that everyone is smiling as they head to Thanksgiving break."
Heidelberg returns to action on Wednesday, November 28. Baldwin Wallace visits Tiffin for a 7 p.m. tip as both teams begin conference play.