Delhi, Ohio – The Mount St. Joseph women's basketball team welcomed the visiting Yellow Jackets of Defiance College to the Harrington Center for Saturday's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Before the game, the Lions posted a 6-14 overall record with a 5-8 HCAC record, while the Yellow Jackets held a 7-13 overall record and a 6-7 HCAC record.
During Saturday's events in the Harrington Center, Mount St. Joseph honored the legacy of the late Lauren Hill in their annual Mount Madness event. Lauren Hill was a member of the 2014-2015 women's basketball team at the Mount. Just a couple of months after committing to the Mount, Lauren and her family received the heartbreaking news that she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) which is a rare type of brain cancer that is considered inoperable due to its growth on the brain stem. After learning of her prognosis, she had talked to coach Dan Benjamin, stating how she wanted to play in one collegiate basketball game. After talks and approval from the NCAA and their opponent Hiram, the game was moved to November 2nd and to be played at Xavier University due to the high demand of attendance and coverage. During the game, Hill recorded the opening basket with a layup, and they're wasn't a dry eye in the arena. Lauren passed away on April 10th, 2015, but her legacy continues to shine to this day and the Mount continues to honor her presence on the campus of Mount St. Joseph University.
Earlier in the season when the two teams faced off against each other, the Lions were unable to hold onto their early lead and both teams would begin to go back and forth. The game would get pushed into triple overtime, with the Yellow Jackets taking the slight advantage and nearly defeating the Lions by a final score of 84-82.
The Lions looked to turn things around in Saturday's game, after coming off a tough loss to the Beavers of Bluffton University on Wednesday.
The first quarter got underway quickly, with the Yellow Jackets getting on the board first with a layup. Two free throws from Chloe Jansen (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands) got the Lions on the board, followed by a three from Haley Scott (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) to take the Lions first lead of the game. It became a back and forth game throughout most of the first quarter. With 4:58 remaining in the quarter the score was tied up 9-9. Over a minute of action went by with no baskets before the Yellow Jackets took the lead. At 1:69 left in the quarter, Maddie Haberthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) tied the game up 11-11 with a layup. Maddie's basket would be the last for the Lions in the quarter. The Yellow Jackets added six more point to their total before time ran out on the clock. At the end of the first quarter the Lions trailed the Yellow Jackets 17-11.
Haley Scott got the second quarter started immediately with a three right out of the gate. In the beginning of the quarter, every time the Lions seemed to be closing in, the Yellow Jackets would create some offense to stay ahead. The Yellow Jackets took a 22-17 lead with 8:37 on the clock. This would be their last basket of the quarter and their final lead of the game. At 7:48, Chloe Jansen made a free throw to get the Lions with four as they trailed 22-18. Back to back baskets from Aliyah Huff (Cincinnati, Ohio/Roger Bacon) tied the game up 22-22 a piece with 6:06 remaining in the quarter. The score remained tied until Mackenzie Marcum (Mason, Ohio/Kings) made a three to take the lead back for the Lions. Haylie Scott followed with a three of her own to add to the Lions lead. With 4:48 remaining in the quarter, the Lions led 28-22. Almost the whole remainder of the quarter would go by with no more baskets, but with :57 seconds of the clock, Maddie Haberthy would finish off the quarter with another Lions three. At the end of the quarter and entering halftime, the Lions held a comfortable 31-22 lead over the Yellow Jackets.
Coming out of halftime, the lions built on their lead. Aliyah Huff and Maddie Haberthy both made a layup respectively, building the Lions lead to 35-22. The Yellow Jackets broke their scoreless streak with 7:46 on the clock from a layup to make the score 35-24 in favor of the Lions. Almost three minutes would go by in the quarter with no baskets from either team, but a layup from Aliyah Huff broke the scoreless streak, giving the Lions a 37-24 lead. A three and a layup from the Yellow Jackets brought them within seven. In the final two and a half minutes of the third quarter the Yellow Jackets would continue to try to close in on the Lions lead but the Lions would keep their cool and stay ahead. A layup from Mackenzie Marcum at 2:14 gave the Lions a 10-point lead, but it didn't last long as the Yellow Jackets took the ball down the court and made one of their own. With 1:15 on the clock, the Yellow Jackets shot and made a three, however, Maddie Haberthy immediately came back with a three for the Lions. A basket from Kamryn McCool (Brookville, Ind./Franklin County), followed by a layup from the Yellow Jackets ended the quarter. At the end of quarter three the Lions lead 44-36.
With the fourth and final quarter underway, the Yellow Jackets went on a five-point scoring streak, bringing the game within three point. Maddie Haberthy started the effort to keep the Lions ahead, making a layup in which Mackenzie Marcum followed with one of her own. At 7:43 on the clock, the Lions lead 48-41. The Yellow Jackets would go on to make back to back three's brining the game within one point. A three from Haley Scott at 5:27 kept the Lions head 51-47. The Lions kept finding themselves on the defensive side, as the Yellow Jackets kept hitting threes. The Yellow Jackets fourth three of the fourth quarter tied the game up for the first time since the second quarter at 53-53 with 3:34 remaining on the clock. Maddie Haberthy brought the Lions back ahead with two free throws and a three pointer. Lions lead 58-53 with 2L54 on the clock. Between the 2:36 mark and the 1:12 mark, the Yellow Jackets recorded five points to tie the game up again, this time 58-58. To give the Lions back the lead, Maddie Haberthy made a layup with :32 seconds remaining. Lions led 60-58. The Lions took a three point lead the :13 seconds on the clock as the scoreboard read 61-58. At :10 seconds remaining, two free throws from the Yellow Jackets brought the game within one. With time ticking down, anything was possible to happen. A foul committed by the Yellow Jackets gave Rachel Moody (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) the ball at the free throw line. Moody made one free throw with :6 seconds remaining, making the final basket of the game. The final buzzer rang, signifying a Lions victory as they defeated the Yellow Jackets by a final score of 62-60 in a fourth quarter thriller.
Maddie Haberthy led the Lions for the day in points scored, recording 23 points. Haberthy also had six assists for the day. She currently sits in second place in the HCAC for individual points per game, averaging 17.6. Alexis Nall, who sits in first place is ahead of her by .2 with 17.8. Haley Scott had a big day for the Lions, recording 12 points with four rebounds and two steals. Scott was 4-5 in field goals made, and 4-5 from the three-point line. The Lions overall made 75% of their free throw attempts.
In the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standing, the Lions sit in 5th place tie with a 6-8 conference record and a 7-14 overall record with the Yellow Jackets who post the same record.
The Lions will be back in action on Wednesday, February 12th, as they travel to Lexington, Ky. to take on the Pioneers of Transylvania University. The Pioneers are currently ranked 6/7th in the nation in two different polls. Tip-off for the game is set for 7PM. Continue to check out MSJSports.com for more updates as the 2019-2020 regular season is coming to an end.