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Women’s basketball lives another day

February 24th, 2011

When the John Carroll University women’s basketball team knocked off Baldwin-Wallace College in the quarterfinal round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night, few should have been surprised.

After all, the Blue Streaks went on the road and beat B-W in Berea, Ohio on Feb. 9.

But to do it a second time, especially with so much on the line, makes it an extra special win for JCU.

With a 74-60 win over B-W on Tuesday, JCU advances to the conference semifinal game to be played tonight in Ada, Ohio against the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears.

The Blue Streaks win ends the Yellow Jackets year with an overall record of 18-8.

Senior Lee Jennings, who averaged 30.5 points per game in the first two meetings with the Yellow Jackets, was right on par Tuesday night.

She scored 31 points against the Yellow Jackets on 14 of 24 shooting from the floor. Jennings also had nine assists and five rebounds on the night as well.

Freshman Missy Spahar was a huge contributor, pouring in 19 points while pulling down seven rebounds.

Junior Emilee Ritchie knocked down three three-pointers en route to 16 points in the game.

Having arguably the best player in the conference, and even the nation, in Jennings, definitely helped the Blue Streaks against B-W.

Yellow Jackets senior guard Amanda Schroeder, who led B-W with an average of 15.4 points per game during the regular season, struggled against the Blue Streaks defense as she only made four of her 10 shots from the field, finishing with just eight points in the contest.

For the Blue Streaks, rebounding had been a problem that has hindered the team all season. The first two times that these two teams got together, B-W won the rebound battle by an average of 15 per game.

However, the Blue Streaks held their own on Tuesday night as each team pulled down 34 rebounds.

The Blue Streaks, who only finished the 2009-10 season with an overall record of 11-14, have made big strides over last season as they clinched win number 15 on the season with the win over B-W.

By surviving and advancing, JCU can now turn their attention to the ONU Polar Bears.

JCU didn’t fare as well against ONU this season, losing both times the two teams met. ONU won 69-44 on Dec. 11, 2010 and then pulled out a 10-point victory in Ada on Jan. 29.

But with Jennings clicking at her current pace, averaging over 30 points per game over her last three contests, no upset seems impossible.

The winner of tonight’s semifinal game will play the winner of the University of Mount Union and Capital University on Saturday for the conference championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at the home gym of the lowest remaining seed.