The Blue Jays currently sit in fourth place in the Centennial Conference.
On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Hopkins women’s basketball team traveled to Gettysburg, Pa. to take on the Gettysburg College Bullets for the second time this season.
The last two matchups between the two teams ended in the Blue Jays’ defeat; the first being last year’s season-ending loss in the Centennial Conference semifinals and the second being a home game earlier this season.
This time around, the Jays used these past losses to fuel their fire. However, despite the team’s deep motivation to end their loosing streak against the Bullets, Hopkins was unable to capitalize on and convert their scoring opportunities in the last few minutes of the game.
“We came out really strong against Gettysburg defensively in the first half,” junior forward Maggie Spitzer said. “Our intensity dropped in the fourth quarter, though, and we struggled to get stops and execute offensively when Gettysburg went on a run.”
Throughout the first quarter, both teams exchanged points, frequently finding the score tied. Despite impressive offensive efforts from junior guard Lillian Scott and sophomore forward Kenz Wilkinson, the Bullets’ leading scorer Emma Dorshimer drained a last-minute three to put Gettysburg up by one.
The second quarter was also marked by back-and-forth action. Junior forward Marissa Varnado, who recently came back from a nearly season-ending injury, put the Jays back on top with an easy three. Spitzer rode the momentum, putting in a layup to put the Blue Jays’ up by four.
Junior guard Madison McGrath battled back Gettysburg’s attempts to cut the deficit with a deep three. However, Dorshimer responded quickly and scored a three of her own for the Bullets, tying the score up at 20.
Hopkins did not let the close score affect their play, as they proceeded to go on a 5-0 run. The Bullets made a quick offensive play to earn two more points, but Hopkins still took the lead at the end of the half.
After an early layup by Spitzer in the third, the Bullets continued to fight back, tallying six straight points to steal the lead. Hopkins responded with its own run, cutting the deficit to just one point.
Then, with less than four minutes left in the third quarter, a layup by Gettysburg forward Meredith Brown quickly gave the Bullets a three-point advantage.
The Blue Jays took back the lead once again after junior guards Sophia Way, Lexie Scholtz and Scott converted impressive shots to cut the Blue Jays’ deficit and bring the score to 39-36. However, within the last moments of the third, the Bullets went on a 4-0 run to end the quarter 40-39.
Despite close scores throughout the entire game, Gettysburg pulled ahead in the fourth and outscored the Jays 25-12. The Bullets scored the first six points of the quarter, setting the tone for the remainder of the game. The Bullets took the Centennial Conference victory over Hopkins, with a final score of 65-51.
Moving forward, the Blue Jays have a chance to see Gettysburg once more in the Centennial Conference playoffs if the next few games go in the Jays’ favor.
“We should see Gettysburg for a third time in the playoffs, and that will be another exciting chance to prove that we can beat a good team when we play with intensity for the entire 40 minutes,” Spitzer said.
The team plans on making immediate improvements to head into the end of the regular season with a confident mindset.
“We are working on staying more composed in the fourth quarter of close games, valuing each possession and maintaining intensity offensively and defensively down the stretch,” Spitzer said.
Despite the disappointing loss, several Jays had standout performances. Scott led the Jays offensively with 17 points, and Way followed closely with 10 points. Junior forward Rory Cole recorded 11 rebounds, extending her double-digit rebound streak to four straight games.
Hopkins will return to Goldfarb Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 10 to face off the Swarthmore Garnet for the second time this season. Tipoff will be at 1 p.m.