URBANA, Ohio - WIth the game on the line, it's time for senior leaders to step up. Ali Schirmer did just that for Tiffin women's basketball on Wednesday evening, driving the length of the court and banking in a runner with two seconds left to give the Dragons a 77-75 victory over Urbana.
With the win, the Dragons improve to 2-1 on the season.
Tiffin had led for the majority of the game, over 75%, but it had been the Blue Knights that came out strong in the fourth quarter to make for a thrilling finish.
Team numbers were nearly identical, as TU shot 42% from the floor to Urbana's 38%, 25% from deep compared to 22%, and grabbed four more boards than the home team, 49-45. A big key to the game for the Dragons was their ability to get out quick in transition, as Tiffin outscored Urbana in fast break points, 29-16.
The Dragons started hot, racing out to an 18-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Aarion Nichols scored the first five points of the game during a 7-0 opening run for Tiffin, and the Dragons were able to hold that margin throughout the rest of the quarter thanks to a late triple from Annie Santucci.
Urbana was able to cut the lead to three with back-to-back buckets to open the second quarter, but Tiffin was once again able to stretch their advantage back to seven at 22-15. However, the Blue Knights responded with an 11-0 run to take a four-point lead with just over four minutes remaining in the opening half.
Not to be outdone, Tiffin stormed back with 14 of the next 17 points to close the half with a 36-29 lead.
The third quarter was much the same as the second, with Urbana cutting down the Dragon lead but TU finding a way to get their advantage back up to eight, 55-47, at the end of the period.
To the delight of the home crowd, Urbana opened the final stanza with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 57 apiece with 6:09 left to play. About a minute later, the Blue Knights took their first lead of the half, 62-61, on a triple from Megan Beachy.
The Dragons kept fighting, though, taking back the lead on a deep Brooke Wesner three at the 3:12 mark to go up 66-64.
TU had four players finish in double figures, led by Nichols with 16 and a near double-double with eight rebounds. Georgia Perrot-Hunt also just missed a double-double night, scoring 14 and grabbing nine boards, including four on the offensive end.
Santucci (11) and Sarah Cummings (10) were the other Dragons with at least 10 points, while Schirmer notched eight points and five assists.
Tiffin now gets to look forward to their 2018-19 home opener, as the Dragons will host Wayne State this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Gillmor Center.