RICHMOND, Ind. – The Earlham College women's basketball team battled Wilmington College to a 40-40 tie after the first half, but the visitors outscored the home squad 22-9 in the third quarter to defeat Earlham 81-69 in the home-opener on Tuesday evening.
After the home Quakers led 22-21 after the first quarter, the visiting Quakers led 30-28 with 5:40 to play in the first half until senior Lexi McFarland and freshman Shannon Pittman connected on consecutive triples to give Earlham a 34-30 edge.
Wilmington (3-1) outscored Earlham 10-6 over the final 4:41 including two free throws by Mackenzie Campbell to end the half.
The teams remained close in the early stages of the third quarter as another Pittman three-pointer pulled Earlham within two, 49-47. Wilmington then locked down on defense, allowed the hosts to score just two points over the final six minutes of the third quarter that put the game out of reach.
Pittman led all scorers with a career-high 24 points. She also added three assists and two rebounds. McFarland and junior Mariah Flynn finished with nine points each while freshman Camryn White added six points.
The Wilmington duo of Campbell and Brittaney Jefferson combined four 46 points to lead the visitors to victory.
Earlham shot 46.3 percent (25-54) while Wilmington finished 45.3 percent (29-64) from the field. The home Quakers hit six three-pointers and 13 free throws while the visitors had three triples and 20 free throws.
Earlham forced Wilmington into 17 turnovers, but committed 27 as a team. Wilmington won the rebounding battle 39-33.
The Quakers of Earlham open Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play hosting Anderson University on Saturday. Tip-off from Schuckman Court is slated for 1 p.m.