Women’s Basketball Falls Valiantly Against Denison

A valiant effort was made in the match-up against Denison. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

The Fighting Scots women’s basketball team looked to turn their season around in Saturday’s NCAC matchup with the Denison Big Red. With gut-wrenching losses against Kenyon and Hiram over the last 10 days, Wooster had played close games and shown that they could compete. Denison had a similar run of form leading up to Saturday’s game with a narrow win over Hiram and two losses against NCAC foes DePauw and OWU.

Namara Rwakatare ’23 got the scoring started for the Scots with a jump shot, cutting the Denison lead to three points, two minutes into the game. The Scots’ newest weapon, Shalen Guilliams ’26, would notch her first three points of the afternoon to bring Wooster’s score within three again just minutes later. The Big Red would impose their will by way of a 15-2 run over the next five minutes to stretch the score to 27-8 with just seconds to go in the first quarter. A pair of Guilliams free throws would bring the quarter to a close with Denison holding a 27-10 lead over the Fighting Scots. 

Wooster grounded themselves slightly in the second quarter as Guilliams improved on her five-point first quarter with seven more to bear the brunt of the scoring load. However, the bigger factor for the Scots was the absence of junior Alyssa Chritz who suffered a tough fall in the first quarter and was eventually withheld from returning to action. This is just the latest in a long sequence of injuries and absences for the Scots who only played 10 players while the Big Red team was able to take advantage of their numerical advantage with 10 players coming off the bench to wear down the Fighting Scots. This pattern would contrast with the box score as the Scots improved as each quarter passed. 

As the second half began, the Scots honed in defensively and held the Big Red to just nine points over the first five minutes of the third quarter. Wooster continued to sputter offensively as Alex Walker ’24, Ella Dean ’26 and Guilliams led the charge. It was an equally dry stretch for both teams as they combined to go six for 25 from the field and just 13 points from the field with the other 12 coming via the charity stripe. Wooster did boast a perfect quarter from the free throw line, one of the many possible contributing factors to their fourth quarter explosion. 

The Scots opened the quarter on a 7-2 run kicked off by a Walker rebound, jump shot and block on the defensive end, followed up by a layup from Riley Thorr ’23, and capped off by a Guilliams three-pointer. Another 10-3 run from the Scots brought the score to 68-49 as Wooster continued to fight. Denison responded with a scoring spurt at the end of the quarter to stretch their lead again and secure a win for the Big Red machine. 

Despite the final score there were some positives to be taken from the Scots fourth quarter performance, specifically the defensive effort showcased by Walker who claimed three rebounds and a block, as well as drawing multiple fouls. Ella Biondi ’26 also came alive in the fourth quarter to record three blocks, helping to limit the Big Red to just 11 points, their fewest in any quarter on the day. 

Senior Paige Wells is eager to take on the next challenge as she stated, “Wednesday will be a great chance to see OWU again at our place. We’re looking forward to showing them what we’ve got on our home court.”

Wooster will be on the road until a much-anticipated meeting with the Kenyon Owls on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 PM.

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