By Zach Baker
Megan Miller, a Columbian graduate who is in her second season at Heidelberg, called this year's Student Princes a "completely new team."
HU's fast start reflects that.
Kathleen Phillips had 23 points, Miller had 12 points and Heidelberg improved to 3-0 with a 70-54 win over Earlham College at Seiberling Gymnasium.
It's the first time HU has started 3-0 since 2006-07, when Karen McConnell was the team's coach. A season ago, Heidelberg won just four games.
The Student Princes led the Quakers for most of Tuesday night's contest, though Earlham managed to hang around until the final minutes.
A 3-pointer by freshman Erin Pacholski gave the Student Princes a 43-31 lead over the Quakers with 15:43 left in regulation, but Earlham chipped away at its deficit, going on a 15-5 run. A pull-up jumper by the Quakers' Emily Sells made it 48-46 with 9:43 left in regulation.
In the past, a run like this meant trouble for Heidelberg. But this time, HU had an immediate answer.
Paige Ricketts quickly drilled a 3 from the right wing, re-establishing a five-point lead.
Ricketts wasn't happy with how her game started.
"I was a little off this time," Ricketts said. "I was on the bench; I had to get myself back together and focused. I knew if I hit that, it'd get everybody pumped up."
Heidelberg coach Marcie Alberts called a timeout after Ricketts' shot went in.
"I told them, '(Earlham) made a run at you,'" Alberts said. "'This game will be determined by how you answer their run.' We answered it."
The Quakers got within 55-50 after a Natasha Norman layup with 7:30 left. Heidelberg then outscored Earlham 15-4 the rest of the way to clinch the victory.
"I think we were being very aggressive," Miller said. "We didn't let down no matter what the score was."
Phillips scored eight of her points in the final 7 1/2 minutes. Phillips made 10 baskets, including three 3-pointers.
"Once I hit the first 3, I felt pretty confident after that," said Phillips, who also had six rebounds and three steals. "I feel like I got my momentum."
Rickets also played with momentum, contributing eight rebounds, five assists and six steals to go with 10 points. Miller had four rebounds, two blocks and two steals to go along with her scoring.
Heidelberg also received some key bench contributions. Pacholski had 10 points and four boards, while Kyra Dorney tied for the team lead with eight boards.
Bria Sneed led Earlham (1-2) with 19 points and seven rebounds. She was the only Quaker to score in double digits. The Quakers turned the ball over 28 times; HU had 23 miscues.
Heidelberg has a non-conference home game Nov. 29 against Kenyon, before beginning Ohio Athletic Conference play Dec. 5 at Capital.
"We're ready for pretty much anything," Ricketts said. "We can compete with pretty much anyone."