First Place Blue Streaks dominate Muskingum


JCU Sports Information

Junior Sarah Sprecher looks to show her strong defensive presence against Muskingum in a game on Friday Jan. 18 at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center

Peter Knab, Sports Reporter

John Carroll University’s women’s basketball team looked to bounce back from a hard-fought Ohio Athletic Conference road loss to the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets on Jan. 18.

The Muskingum University Fighting Muskies came to University Heights as the last-place team in the OAC, looking to take down the first-place Blue Streaks.

JCU allowed the Muskies to hang around in the first quarter as they owned just a seven-point lead. The Blue and Gold started the second quarter with a 16–4 run, which led to a comfortable 44–28 lead at halftime.

At the half, the Blue Streaks were led by the reigning OAC “Freshman of the Year,” Nicole Heffington, followed by freshman Shmoo Pryor and junior Sarah Sprecher, who each compiled eight points.

The Muskies would not get within range of taking down the Blue Streaks, as JCU outscored Muskingum by 10 points in the second half to give John Carroll an 83–57 win.

Heffington finished with 19 points on 8–10 shooting to lead JCU to the win. Pryor, Sprecher and senior Chelbi Graham all finished in double figures. Huffington crossed the 700-point mark for her career in the win.

“We really worked as a team and focused on us, not our opponent. I just hope I can continue to do my part to help us keep winning,” Heffington said.

Defensively, the Blue Streaks held the Muskies to only 26 percent shooting, and improved to 11–2 when holding their opponents to under 40 percent shooting.

Additionally, the Blue and Gold won the rebounding battle 46–37.

With the win, JCU improved to 12–5 (8–2 OAC) while the Muskies dropped to 1–16 (0–10 OAC).

The Blue Streaks followed their win against Muskingum with another win against the Ohio Northern Polar Bears in Ada, Ohio, by a final score of 76–50.

JCU remains atop the OAC in first place after their last two wins.

John Carroll has proved dominant at home, as the Blue and Gold pose a 7–1 record at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center. Their lone loss in University Heights came over two months ago to Oberlin, in their second home game of the season.

This is the first time since the 2014–15 season that JCU has tallied just one home loss in their own territory after Jan 20.

The Blue Streaks will take on Marietta College at home this Saturday, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m.