WESTERVILLE, Ohio – A career performance from sophomore guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Akron Archbishop Hoban) was not enough as the fifth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team fell to fourth-seeded Otterbein University 74-64 in the Ohio Athletic Conference quarterfinals inside the Rike Center.
Marshall led BW (15-11) with a career-high 21 points, besting her previous career-high of 13 points. Senior Academic All-OAC guard Katie Smith (Fairview Park/Fairview) hit double digits as she scored 10 points in her final game for the Yellow Jackets. Freshman forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Junior guard Ali Cartnal led Otterbein (17-9) with a game-high 31 points and senior forward Kiersten Taylor chipped in 11 points of her own, including the 1,000th point of her Cardinal career.
Although the entirety of the first quarter was nip and tuck, BW never trailed. Junior Academic All-OAC forward Rachel Womeldorf (Lewis Center/Olentangy) opened up the scoring with a layup and the Yellow Jackets held a 2-0 lead as it took a while for the Cardinals to find the scoreboard. Otterbein tied the game at 2-2 with 7:35 left in the period and then again at 7-7 and 9-9 before Diedrich nailed a three-pointer for a 12-9 lead at the 3:58 mark. The Yellow Jackets then used the Cardinals' foul trouble to their advantage and sank 3-of-4 from the charity stripe to lead 17-14 at the end of the first.
The second quarter passed much the same as the first until Marshall took control of the offense, at one point scoring eight of BW's 10 points on a 10-2 run that gave the Yellow Jackets their first double-digit lead at 28-18 with 2:14 left in the first half. Otterbein countered with an 8-2 run of its own and brought the BW lead down to just four points at the 0:56 mark. Two free throws from sophomore guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro) sent the Yellow Jackets into halftime up 32-26.
Otterbein held the slight edge in the third quarter but, every time the Cardinals seemed to hit a big shot, BW would answer with a big shot of its own. When Alex Schaffer hit a three-pointer at the 2:53 mark to bring the Cardinals within one point of the lead, Smith drilled a trey of her own. However, the Yellow Jackets started to get into foul trouble and gave Otterbein the opportunity to use the free throw line to take the lead, 47-46, with 1:27 left in the period.
After a free throw by sophomore guard Riley Schill (Sheffield Village/Elyria Catholic) that tied the game at 49-49 to open up the fourth, Otterbein quickly opened up a small 5-0 run for a 59-54 lead at the 9:26 mark. Smith made a jump shot on the ensuing possession to bring BW within three points but the Cardinals remained in control for the rest of the game.
BW finishes the season with a 15-11 record and will return its top four scorers in 2018-19 in junior All-OAC guard Hannah Fecht (Hilliard/Davidson), Schill, Womeldorf and Hughes.