Phillips hits milestone in ’Berg loss

Kathleen Phillips had something to celebrate.

Heidelberg’s team wasn’t able to.

Phillips scored a game-high 22 points Saturday, becoming the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 in her career. But Otterbein dominated the rebounding, and defeated the Student Princes, 75-62.

Phillips reached the mark with 8:18 left in regulation, drilling an open 3 from the left corner. The home crowd gave her a big ovation, and HU trailed 60-51.

The Princes’ defense appeared to capture some momentum, coming up with three consecutive stops.

But Heidelberg didn’t capitalize. After Phillips’ milestone, the Student Princes didn’t score for four minutes. Eventually, Otterbein’s offense started clicking again, and the Cardinals grabbed a 75-62 win at Seiberling Gymnasium.

It didn’t help Heidelberg’s offense that it didn’t have many chances to score. Otterbein held a 46-26 rebounding advantage, and dominated the offensive glass, 16-3.

“The big thing coming in was we wanted to have our transition game going,” said Otterbein coach Connie Richardson, a Heidelberg graduate. “And then, defensively, we needed to make the stops when we did.”

Heidelberg coach Marcie Alberts said her team didn’t do what it knew it needed to.

“It’s not hard to figure out,” she said. “We told them the key to the game was transition defense, and rebound the basketball, and we didn’t do either one of them very well.”

Otterbein (12-3, 6-2 Ohio Athletic Conference) finished with five players scoring in double figures, led by Hannah Day and Tabatha Piper, who each scored 14. Six Cardinals had at least five rebounds in the win.

Heidelberg (5-10, 1-7) had only Phillips and Paige Ricketts (16 points) score in double figures. Ricketts finished with a team-best five rebounds.

Phillips, a junior, has averaged 16.4 points a game in her career for HU. The Sandusky St. Mary product is averaging almost 19 points a game this season.

“I actually did not know [how close I was to 1,000 points],” she said. “I didn’t really know, so I went out and played.”

After Phillips reached the mark, there was a small ceremony with Alberts and Phillips on the court.

“It was very nice to see her get it,” Alberts said. “I knew we would need her scoring to be in the game and have a chance to even win.”