MARIETTA -- On the road … Over the defending conference tournament champions … To start the new year.
Mid-season wins don't get much bigger than that.
Behind strong afternoons by Alyssa Riley, Maddy Crawford, and Brooke Beamer, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team picked up a nice 69-66 win at Marietta College on Saturday. Riley poured in 20 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead The Berg. Crawford notched her ninth double-double of the season, finishing with 19 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Beamer had 17 points and five boards.
With the win, Heidelberg improved to 7-6 on the season, 3-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Marietta -- fresh off an upset over No. 20 Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday -- fell to 9-4, 4-2.
"We came focused and played for each other the entire game," said Head Coach Morgan Harrigan. "Our focus on defense in practice was really evident, especially in the first half by holding them to 25 points."
Early in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers held a six-point lead. Crawford ignited a 14-0 run with a lay-up with 8:18 to play. Beamer followed with two free throws then a 3-pointer that put HU up 54-53. After Leah Bouillon hit a jumper, Riley dialed up a 3-pointer that caused Marietta head coach Kole Vivian to call a timeout.
After the timeout, Beamer capped the three-minute run with another jumper.
Down as many as nine in the game's waning moments, the hosts tried to chip away. Marietta got to within three as Alexis Enochs hit a spinning layup with 8.4 seconds left.
After a turnover, the Pioneers had a shot at a game-tying three. Bailey Brooks brought the ball into the forecourt where Beamer forced her to feed the ball to Shay Lett. With Bouillon closing hard, Lett's heave from 25 feet away missed everything -- touching off another joyous celebration for The Berg.
"Maddy Crawford did 'Maddy Crawford' things again with 19 and 15, Lyss [Alyssa Riley] stepped up and hit big shots, and Brooke came alive in the second half offensively," said Harrigan. "I am very proud of our ability to come off a four hour bus ride ready to go, and even more proud of how they played for each other."
For the game, Heidelberg shot 8-for-18 (44.4%) from long distance. By comparison, the Pioneers were 2-for-11 (18.2%) from beyond the arc.
Marietta was led by Enochs, who finished with 27 points and nine rebounds.
The Student Princes will return to Seiberling Gymnasium for the first time in 2019 on Wednesday night. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.