Women’s basketball fans spent last week on the edge of their seats as both of last week’s games being decided in the final minute of play. The Tigers spent Wednesday, Jan. 22 on the road at Ohio Wesleyan, where they fell in overtime to the Bishops, 75-73. Wittenberg returned home Saturday to face conference rival Denison and fell behind early before exploding in the fourth quarter and winning, 57-55.
The Tigers returned home Saturday, Jan. 25 for Alumni Day against Denison. The Pam Evans Smith Arena was witness to an early Tiger’s deficit as the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime down by four, 29-25.
Wittenberg opened sluggishly in the third quarter as they were outshot by Denison, only making five of 13 field goals. The Tigers headed into the fourth trailing the Big Red by 11. Kristie Kalis (’21) led the comeback charge as she led the team in field goal and three-point attempts.
Wittenberg pulled within two points with less than five minutes remaining, as Abigail Yunker (’21) dropped in a layup and drew a Denison foul, heading to the line to bring the Tigers within four points. Yunker then pulled down a missed Denison three-pointer and passed to Riley Culver (’20) who charged towards the paint and brought the Tigers within two. A minute later, Yunker snatched a Denison pass from the air, and raced down the court. Williams handed the ball off to Korynne Berner (’20) standing just inside the three-point line. Berner drained the ball to tie the game at 48 with 4:20 left to play. The Tigers took a five-point lead two minutes later off a layup by Culver and free throws by Berner. Denison tied the game at 53 with 27 seconds left, leaving a crackling air of tension in the Pam Evans Smith Arena as Wittenberg took a timeout.
When the Tigers returned to the floor, Williams continued the game of Hot Potato, and passed to Riley Culver, who threw the ball to an open Kalis just beyond the three-point arc near the Tigers bench. Kalis put the ball in the air and drained it, causing the Pam Evans Smith Arena to explode as the Tigers gained a three-point lead.
“That was huge, it’s just a moment you remember forever,” Kelly Mahlum, head coach said of the shot by Kristie Kalis (’21).
“It was huge for Kristie, but also huge for us, to bounce back and do what we did today after our disappointment on Wednesday really showed our grittiness and toughness,” Mahlum said.
Denison responded with a layup with four seconds left to bring the game within one point, but Wittenberg drew a foul and sent Kalis to the line to increase the lead to two points in the final seconds of the game. The Tigers won 57-55 over the Denison Big Red and increased their record to 13-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play.
Wittenberg’s win over Denison was led by Berner who scored 14-points, while Williams spent all but 72 seconds on the floor and grabbed nine rebounds. Kalis in addition to draining the game-winner for the lead, also lead the team in assists with two. The Tigers outshot the Big Red, draining 21 out of 56 field goals, and 14 of 18 free throws.
Women’s Basketball travel to Greencastle, IN on Wednesday, Jan. 29 to face the DePauw Tigers at 7:00pm, before returning to Pam Evans Smith Arena Saturday to face the Ladies of Kenyon at 2:00pm for Tiger Pals Day.