Junior forward Ariel Brough scored six of her game-high 15 points during an 11-1 second half run, and Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) College held on to defeat the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, 52-44, in a first-round game Friday at the NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament.
Trailing 31-29 midway through the second half, the Yellowjackets (22-7) limited the Bobcats (24-3) to a single free throw over a six-minute span, while Brough scored two baskets and added two free throws to stake Baldwin-Wallace to a 40-32 lead with 4:20 remaining.
B-W, which was runnerup in the Ohio Athletic Conference this season and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, extended its lead to 44-34 with 2:27 remaining. Pitt-Greensburg, which won the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship and had won 13 straight games, got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, with B-W limiting Pitt-Greensburg to one field goal over a span of 15 minutes in building a 19-15 lead. The Bobcats responded with a late 7-0 run to take a 22-21 lead at halftime.
"We got some wide-open looks on threes, but we didn't knock them down," Baldwin-Wallace coach Cheri Harrer said.
Baldwin-Wallace shot 31 percent from the field (16 of 51) and didn't make a single 3-point shot in 12 attempts, but outrebounded the Bobcats 49-39. Pitt-Greensburg shot just 23 percent from the field (14 of 61).
"They played very aggressive defensively. In order for us to do anything offensively was a struggle. They fight through everything," said Pitt-Greensburg guard Nicole Reiser, who led the Bobcats with 13 points.
Brough also pulled down 11 rebounds to go along with her 15 points, and teammate Serena Farage also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"Serena did a great job getting us started with some putbacks, and Ariel picked up her game in the second half," Harrer said.
Baldwin-Wallace will play the winner of the second game between host Hope (25-1) and Washington and Jefferson (24-4) Saturday at 7 p.m. at Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse.