Women's Basketball: Mount Union Remains Undefeated at Home in Win Over Heidelberg

Sarah Hessel
Sarah Hessel

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- The Mount Union women's basketball team defeated Heidelberg (4-5, 1-3 OAC) in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Saturday afternoon at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

With the win, the Purple Raiders improve to 8-1 overall, 3-1 in the OAC and remain undefeated at home. 

The Raiders were led by junior guard Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) who registered 15 points. She was accompanied by sophomore forward Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake) who recorded a career-high 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. 

Heidelberg was led by Brooke Beamer's 15 points. 

First quarter, Heidelberg took control to shoot 50% from the field, with a quick three-pointer from range that soon combined with six unanswered points to give them a 9-2 lead over Mount Union. Rachel Tinkey (Canfield) sunk a pair of free throws to get the Raiders on the board and then a three to cut the deficit to four at 9-5 with 6:41 to go. Trips to the free throw line for Heidelberg started to extend their lead until a pair of deep three's by Tori Rappach closed out the quarter with Mount Union only trailing 20-16.

Mount Union's offense was ignited in the second quarter, outscoring Heidelberg 25-12. After exchanging three-point shots, Mount Union was still down four until consecutive layups by Renee DeFord (Casstown/Miami East) knotted up the score at 23-all at the eight-minute mark. A driving layup by Hannah Schaefer (Dublin/Coffman) gave the Raiders their first lead of the game, 25-23, and forced Heidelberg into a timeout. Mount Union pulled away in the remainder of the half on a 16-9 run to enter the break ahead 41-32.

Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake) and Jaime Sanborn (Twinsburg) strung together two quick scores under the basket to start the third quarter, furthering Mount Union's advantage into doubel figures at 45-32. The Raiders continued to drive the hoop and received a number of second chance opportunities with strong movement on the boards, going after every rebound, making it hard on the Heidelberg defense to get a stop. Hessel recorded nine points in the quarter leading Mount Union to once again outscore Heidelberd, this time 23-10, to take their then-largest lead of the game at 64-43 heading to the fourth.

The Raiders constructed a 15-4 run in the opening four minutes of the fourth quarter to lead Heidelberg by 32 points at 79-47 on a pair of three's from Rappach and Anna Alkire (Massillon/Jackson) and inside looks to Hessel, Sanborn and Hailey Peoples-O'Neil (Geneva). Taking several trips to the foul line, Heidelberg kept attacking the key to get points on the board but it would not be enough to hold off Mount Union's offense; the Raiders winning 83-64.

Mount Union will next travel to Berea, Ohio and face Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.