Standout Phillips ties career high, sets new HU record in loss
By Cory Sager
A-T Sports Writer
Kathleen Phillips did just about everything in her power to help Heidelberg women’s basketball pick up a victory at home against John Carroll.
But despite Phillips’ 36 points, the Blue Streaks rallied midway through the second half and never relinquished their lead in a 79-68 victory.
Phillips was just one point shy of tying the school record of and tied her career best. Yet, she did set a record in Wednesday’s game.
Phillips sank 16 field goals against the Blue Streaks, which snapped the previous record of 15 by Brittany Skolnicki back in 2007.
Phillips didn’t have any idea what she had just done; she was just content with how well she played.
“I thought my effort was really good, I mean I tried to get open for my team. I knew John Carroll defense was somewhat lacking so I knew I could get open if I really put the effort forth,” Phillips said.
She did just that and showed consistency, scoring 18 points by halftime, then tacking on another 18 in the final 20 minutes.
John Carroll coach Kristie Maravalli took notice of the Heidelberg junior’s performance.
“Obviously Phillips, she had a great game. If I wasn’t coaching against her, it would have been a fun game to watch as a spectator,” Maravalli said. “She’s a hard matchup, a real hard matchup.”
Still, Maravalli knew after a monster first half by Phillips and being down 38-35 at the half that the Blue Streaks needed to make changes if they wanted to come out on top.?”We knew they were a very good team, especially at home. I was very confident that we were going to make the adjustments,” Maravalli said. “We did a much better job with getting the double team on her and then being able to help out and stopsome of the 3-point shots in the second half. “
It wasn’t just stopping Phillips in the second half, John Carroll out-rebounded Heidelberg, 45-31, made 14-16 free throws, including the final 10 consecutive starting with 3:39 left in the game. Add in only three turnovers and you could see how John Carroll turned the game around.
“I was glad we were able to make our free throws and get that cushion with two minutes left,” Maravalli said.
For Heidelberg coach Marcie Alberts, shooting a measly 5 of 13 from the free throw line hurt.
“It’s a tale of two halves. We didn’t play good defense throughout the game, but when you give up 30 free throws to 13, you’re going to struggle winning,” Alberts said. “We played better than they did the first half, they played better than we did the second half and we’re still in the game with five minutes to go; it’s still anybody’s ball game and we miss our free throws down the stretch.”
Being out-rebounded by double digits didn’t help either.
“I told them the key to the game is rebounding and we didn’t do it,”Alberts said.
Nicole Payne was the only other Student Prince to score double digits, chipping in 10.
Blue Streak powerhouses Beth Switzler (23 points, 12 rebounds) and Melissa Spahar (22 points, nine rebounds, 12-13 FT shooting) combined for 45 of John Carroll’s 79 points.
Heidelberg (5-15, 1-12 Ohio Athletic Conference) travels to Marietta on Saturday where it fights for a spot in the OAC tournament.
The Student Princes won the last battle against the Pioneers at home, 75-61.
Phillips is ready to shake off the slump.
“I think if we have that mindset like we did when we played them at home, that we’ll get it done,” Phillips said.