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Conference Recognizes Ladies as Win Streak Extends to Six

Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012

Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012 02:12

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Courtesy of Martin Fuller

Kayla Ernst ’13 was named the NCAC Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 31 points last Wednesday.

 

The women’s basketball team can’t be stopped. Their 58-42 win over Hiram College this past Saturday was the team’s sixth straight win since Nov. 24 and their second North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) victory. Also, for the second week in a row, a Kenyon player has been named the NCAC player of the week.  Maureen Hirt ’14 earned the accolade last week. This week it went to Kayla Ernst ’13

The Ladies’ first conference win came on Dec. 5, a home game against Wittenberg in Tomsich Arena. “All NCAC games are really tough,” Hirt said, “but [Wittenberg is] definitely a rival of ours.” 

The Ladies stayed close throughout the first half, with Kenyon leading at halftime by two points. “We started out somewhat sluggish,” Ladies Head Coach Suzanne Helfant said. “I felt like we didn’t come out of the gates that strong.” 

When the Tigers came out in the second half and took a 10-point lead, the Ladies knew they needed to respond. “They turned a corner and were able to flip a switch and started to play much better,” Helfant said.

Ernst  netted two shots, Hirt hit four free throws and Lauren Kriete ’15 made a 3-point shot that tied the score at 54. For the final three minutes, the Ladies dominated the game completely, ending with a 64-58 win. “We were able to limit what they were doing in terms of point production in the last five minutes of the game, and we started to hit some really key baskets,” Helfant said. “I thought that was a really big win for us.”

Ernst scored 31 of those 64 points, beating her previous career best by six points. She also had 10 rebounds on the night, an area in which she has struggled. “I definitely needed to bring out the rebounds more than I have in the past,” Ernst said, “and I’ve started to do that this year.” Helfant was impressed by Ernst’s hard work so far. “She’s doing all the things she’s done in the past but she’s added to her repertoire her ability to rebound,” she said. “I think that all the accolades that she has gotten are well deserved. She’s one of the hardest working players on our team.” 

And then there is Hirt, who was honored as the NCAC Player of the Week the week before, after scoring a combined 67 points in three games and earning a spot on the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week. 

Helfant praised Hirt as well, saying, “I think she’s one of the best shooters in the country.” The duo of Ernst and Hirt has been difficult for other teams to defend against. “Not too many people have been able to figure out how to stop them both,” Helfant said. “They might be able to stop one of them, but they can’t stop both of them.”

The season’s second NCAC showdown took place on Dec. 8, when the Ladies traveled to Hiram College. This time, the Ladies were clearly dominant, kicking off the first half with an 11-0 run. When it was over, Hirt had a game-high 14 points, Ernst had 12, and Maggie Boelter ’14 had three 3-pointers in her total of 10 points in what turned out to be a convincing victory.

The team will now take a three-week break before traveling to Florida to participate in the Land of Magic Tournament at Embry-Riddle University.  

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