Blue Streaks women sting the Yellow Jackets on the court and in the record books


JCU Sports Information

Nicole Heffington goes up for a layup against a Baldwin Wallace defender in a game at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center on Feb. 6, 2021.

Anna Meyer, Staff Reporter

Going into this weekend, the John Carroll Women’s Basketball Team was presented with the challenge of defeating the 2019-20 Ohio Athletic Conference champions, Baldwin Wallace and keeping an undefeated record.

Not only did the Blue Streaks get revenge twice on the Yellow Jackets last Friday after losing to them in the OAC Championship last year, but they made history while doing it. 

On Feb. 5, John Carroll notched its first win of the eventual sweep across town in Berea with a 60-53 victory. Come Saturday, Feb. 6, the Blue and Gold repeated their victory with a historic 62-39 defeat over the same Baldwin Wallace team. This was the first time the John Carroll women’s basketball team has won two games in a season against Baldwin Wallace since 2015. 

This game also marked the biggest win for the Blue Streaks over the Yellow Jackets since Nov. 23, 1985, when JCU defeated Baldwin Wallace 73-37. That game was also the last time Baldwin Wallace failed to score more than 40 points against a given John Carroll defense. 

One of the biggest contributing factors of the game was the defense’s strong presence in Saturday’s victory. The Blue and Gold held Baldwin Wallace to only shooting 24.6% from the field and 9.5% from behind the arc. 

“Our defensive plan was to make them uncomfortable,” said John Carroll Head Coach Beth Andrews, “When you make a team use all of their counters, it takes them out of their games. I think we did a really good job of forcing them off the three-point line and getting back in transition.”

After the first quarter, Baldwin Wallace led the contest 11-10 — that was the last time they’d see themselves ahead on the scoreboard.

The narrative of the game changed after senior Nicole Heffington drained a three-point shot that translated into the start of a 10-0 scoring run for the Blue Streaks in the second quarter. From this point on, John Carroll held the lead for almost 80% of the game. 

Through one half of play, John Carroll went into the break with a 26-19 lead.

The Blue Streaks came out of the locker room playing lights out on both offense and defense. They outscored their opponents 18-4 during the third 10-minute quarter. 

“When a unit of five collectively buys into what we’re doing, good things happen,” noted Andrews. “Holding a team to four points in a quarter is just something special.”

The fourth quarter was more evenly distributed, with John Carroll scoring 18 points and Baldwin Wallace scoring 16 points, resulting in a JCU victory. 

“I think that the girls and our leaders are doing such a good job at taking it a day at a time and realizing how lucky they are to be here,” exclaimed Andrews. “From the moment they said season-on, every day is a blessing, and they go 110% every single day to be sure they are leaving the court with no regrets, just in case they don’t get that tomorrow.”

John Carroll’s point-scoring was led by Heffington with 17 points and senior Dani Carlson with 14. Olivia Nagy and Abby Adler contributed eight points apiece as well. 

 Nagy’s team-high 14 rebounds played a pivotal role in the game as well. 

“She is doing a great job and owning the game and securing the boards for either an extra possession or so we can get it out for a run in transition,” noted Andrews about Nagy’s strong performance. “The moment she catches the ball, two or three people are touching her. And she is just staying composed. She is not selfish, and she is kicking it out for another score. I appreciate her for doing that.”

Baldwin Wallace’s statistical leader was junior Lilly Edwards with 10 points and five rebounds. 

In the end, John Carroll held onto its convincing lead, resulting in a sixth straight victory. JCU improves to 6-0 and remains undefeated in the OAC. This is the first time in 27 years that John Carroll has accomplished that feat.

Next week, the Blue Streaks will tip-off against Ohio Northern University on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.