A personal milestone, a 10-game win streak and an undefeated home record, were up for grabs when the John Carroll University women’s basketball team hosted Wilmington College on Saturday, Jan. 24.
The Blue Streaks did not disappoint. They used their defensive intensity and never-say-die attitude to put together a strong second half and pull away from the Fightin’ Quakers, 70-58.
The star of the night was senior guard Beth Switzler, who surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her JCU career in the second half. Switzler received a pass from junior guard Daniella Rice as she cut to the hoop, breaking the milestone the Willowick native eagerly awaited to pass.
Switzler commented on the record, “I knew I was close but I was just going to let it happen. I couldn’t have done it without my team. I didn’t reach 1,000 in high school, so it was a great achievement.”
Although the final score weighed significantly in favor of the Blue Streaks, it was not always smooth sailing for JCU.
It was a tale of two halves for the Blue and Gold. While they went into halftime with the lead, scoring 37 points, the defense was not holding up the way the team hoped. The Fightin’ Quakers held a lead for nearly the entirety of the opening period.
Wilmington shot 53 percent from the field in the first half, and 66 percent from three, but luckily for JCU, the Fightin’ Quakers were not on their defensive game, either.
The Blue Streaks put together a late first half run, and finally took the lead on a layup by freshman guard Sarah Cairnie with just over a minute left in the half. It was the first lead of the game for the Blue Streaks, and they would never relinquish it again.
The second half was a defensive battle, as JCU forced 16 turnovers in the second half alone and held Wilmington to just 37 percent shooting, including 2-of-10 from behind the arc.
The Blue Streaks didn’t fare much better shooting-wise. However, the squad’s ability to get to the free throw line and take care of the ball down the stretch proved to be the crucial point. JCU closed it out down the stretch and improved its win streak to 10 games keeping its undefeated record at home in tact.
Along with eclipsing the 1,000 career point mark with her 11 points, Switzler also added 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year.
Freshman guard Katlyn Spahar led the team in scoring. Spahar poured in 26 points on the afternoon, and added nine rebounds.
JCU will take the court next on Saturday, Jan. 31, as the squad hosts Ohio Northern University. The Blue Streaks and the Polar Bears are currently locked in a heated battle atop the OAC. With ONU being JCU’s only loss this year, the Blue Streaks will be looking for revenge.
Editor’s Note: The John Carroll University women’s basketball team traveled to Tiffin, Ohio to take on Heidelberg University for another OAC battle on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Head to jcusports.com for a full recap and box score.