Cooke drops 20, but Yeowomen drop Owls

OBERLIN, Ohio — The Kenyon College women’s basketball team benefitted from a big night by center Claudia Cooke, but the Owls struggled to get going on the road against Oberlin College. The Yeowomen controlled three of four quarters en route to a 61-40 win in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) contest.

Oberlin improved to 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the NCAC, while Kenyon fell to 3-12 overall and 1-3 against conference opponents. The home team started hot, which, combined with a cold Kenyon start, helped Oberlin jump out to a 16-3 lead after one quarter of action. Kenyon shored up its shooting in the second quarter, but the Yeowomen also dialed in and outscored the Owls 25-12 to take a commanding 41-15 lead into the locker room.

Kenyon flipped the script in the third quarter to give Oberlin a taste of its own medicine. After shooting 5-25 (20 percent) in the first half, the Owls made 8-of-10 (80 percent) third-quarter field goals, including going 2-2 from the three-point and free-throw lines. Cooke turned up the heat in the frame and served up eight of her team-high 20 points while adding three rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal.

The senior center scored efficiently, shooting 9-14 (64.3 percent) from the floor and 2-2 at the charity stripe. In addition to surpassing 20 points for the third time this season, Cooke pulled down eight rebounds and tied a season-high with four blocks.

Anissa Hardy was the only player to corral more rebounds as the sophomore center tallied 10 boards, her fifth double-digit rebounding effort this season. Despite two Owls shining in the glass cleaning department, Oberlin outrebounded Kenyon 38-32. Outside of Cooke’s shooting, the Owls were just 6-34 (17.6 percent) from the floor. Mikayla Rudolph finished second on the team with nine points but shot just 2-7 overall, and Alyssa Gest scored five points after going 2-13.

Oberlin did not shoot much better in the game, 36.8 percent to 31.3, and was less accurate from three-point range. However, the Yeowomen stole the ball 14 times and turned 19 Kenyon turnovers into a 22-7 margin in points off turnovers. The home team also went plus-eight, 11-3, in second-chance points, and their reserves outscored the Owls bench 17-0. It was a two-player show for the Yeowomen, with Gina Lombard dropping a game-high 21 points and Alyson Jefferson netting 17.

Up next, Kenyon heads home to prepare for another conference clash on Saturday, January 13. The Owls will welcome Denison University as the Big Red make the short trip to Gambier, and tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Tomsich Arena.

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