TIFFIN, Ohio - It may not have felt like the typical home game for Tiffin women's basketball, but the Dragons were able to race out to a 13-point halftime lead en route to a 76-67 victory over the Ursuline Arrows on Thursday evening.
The game, played at Heidelberg's Seiberling Gymnasium, was also the Dragons' annual Play4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness game, and survivor Jenean Coughlin was honored before the opening tip.
Tiffin (8-17, 5-15 GMAC) outshot Ursuline (8-16, 7-11 GMAC) 48.2% to 42.6% from the floor and outrebounded the Arrows 40-32. The Dragons also had six more assists and four less turnovers than the visitors. TU played exceptionally well in the first quarter, jumping out to a 27-16 lead while shooting over 50% from the field (10-19) and assisting on seven of the ten made baskets.
Allie Miller led all scorers in the game with 25 points, tying her career-high that she set earlier this season against Ohio Valley, while making five threes and pulling down seven rebounds. Georgia Perrott-Hunt and Mary Redmond were the other Dragons in double figures with 11 points apiece, while Aarion Nichols had seven points and a team-high nine boards. Jasmine Watts also added three more blocks to her impressive freshman campaign defending the rim, now just two away from cracking the single-season blocked shots top-10 list at TU.
After a slow start for both teams that saw an 8-8 tie four minutes in, Tiffin scored the next nine points in a row to go up 17-8 at the 4:37 mark of the opening quarter. Miller started the run with her second triple of the game and followed with a jumper in the lane. Jensen Hiegel dropped in a layup on the next possession, and a pair of Miller free throws brought the run to 9-0.
The Dragon lead hovered around nine for the rest of the quarter until Annie Santucci buried a jumper with 11 seconds left to give TU an 11-point lead after one.
Miller kept firing to open the second quarter, scoring the Dragons' first seven point of the period to extend the lead to 34-21 with 7:24 to play in the half.
The Arrows cut the lead to six three minutes later, but their small run was halted by a deep three from Redmond. That triple ignited a 10-3 run by Tiffin to close the half that included another Redmond dagger from beyond the arc as TU went to the break up 47-34.
Ursuline came out of halftime strong, quickly cutting the deficit to eight, but yet another three from Miller was able to put an end to the run and give the Dragons a 50-39 lead at the 7:50 mark of the third quarter. Not going away quietly, the Arrows again made a run, cutting the margin to six this time at the 4:37 mark, but a three off the hands of Perrott-Hunt stemmed the tide and put Tiffin back up 56-47.
The Dragons took six-point lead, 62-56, into the fourth quarter, and never let the score get any closer than that throughout the rest of the game. With that same six-point advantage at the 5:26 mark, 71-65, Tiffin was able to make their free throws down the stretch and hold on for the nine-point victory.
Tiffin will now host Lake Erie on Saturday for Senior Day in their final home game of the 2019 season. Like today, the game will be played at Heidelberg.