By ANDY WOLF
If you’ve watched the University of Findlay women’s basketball team even once this season, you wouldn’t be surprised with the kind of games Anna Hintz and Lynsey Englebrecht had over the past week.
They’ve been doing it all season long.
Both put together their best two-game scoring efforts of the season in wins over Cedarville (73-65) and Ohio Valley (96-56).
Hintz went for games of 29 and 25 points while Englebrecht had 17- and 29-point games.
UF coach Jim Wiedie even thinks they can score more.
“I get on Annie because I think she can post up more,” he said after the Cedarville win. “You look at the box score, she’s 10 of 14 and 7 of 7 from the line and it’s like ‘what are you complaining about coach?”
“I think we can get the ball to her any time down on the floor. Any time she catches it whether its inside or on the perimeter, good things happen. When she’s looking to be aggressive, especially like she was tonight, she has a major mismatch.”
He felt the same way after Englebrecht tied her UF single-game record of eight 3-points against an Ohio Valley team which had a tough time trailing her.
She still leads the nation in 3-pointers made per game (3.79) and has remained efficient (11th, 44.2).
“The biggest challenge for Lynsey was to keep shooting,” Wiedie said after the OVU game. “Like I told her, as a shooter, she doesn’t get open that often. She doesn’t get that many free looks that often.
“You’re so surprised and you’re open on the floor every single time. You’re the best shooter in the league and it’s like, why isn’t somebody guarding me? If they’re going to give you 30 threes, then take 30 threes. That’s your job and the defense is allowing you to do that, shoot it, and if you miss it, we’ll go get it.”
She only took 14, though, in 24 minutes.
Englebrecht is working her way up the all-time 3-pointers list at UF.
She’s added to her previously shattered single-season record which now stands at 91.
With 207 career triples, Englebrecht needs 25 more to move into second place.
“I’ve coached a lot of 3-point shooters in my 15 years as a head coach,” Wiedie said. “She’s the best. Again, usually teams are draped all over her. Usually teams are game-planning for her, she’s not getting touches and you’ve got to run her off multiple screens.
“Any time you have the luxury of being that open throughout the game you need to take advantage of it.”
Arguably, though, it was the Oilers’ defense that made the biggest difference
Minus a 3-minute stretch where Cedarville scored 12 straight points, they couldn’t get much going.
Six-foot-three post player Breanne Watterworth went for 16 points but Wiedie didn’t want to commit a second defender to her because Cedarville’s other shooters.
“We were fortunate they missed enough shots down the stretch after they cut it to two,” Wiedie said.
Cedarville’s Baylee Bennett, the only Division II player with more 3-pointers than Englebrecht at 93, drained eight 3-pointers in 11 attempts the first time around against the Oilers.
She got 11 attempts again Tuesday, but made only four.
Ashlyn Huffman made both of her 3-point shots, yet the rest of the Yellow Jackets were 1 of 12 from downtown.
“(Bennett) probably just didn’t get as many good looks,” Wiedie said. “We did a good job switching out on her, taking away some of the stuff with the ball screens. We did what we call our ice defense where we try to force the ball back to the corner.
“That was (assistant) coach (Caitlin) Bamberger — put together a good scouting report and we had two days of practice to work on that.”
Wiedie said the Oilers usually hard hedge their screens instead of “icing the ball screens on the wing”.
Cedarville was without a key offensive component in senior Regina Hochstetler who tore her ACL three games prior and is done for the year.
Hochstetler, a career 1,000-point scorer, was their go-to option at 17.8 points per game.
“I thought (Kelly) Poole (13 points) stepped up and did a nice job for them,” Wiedie said. “But Stevie Johnting didn’t get her looks tonight.
“When you’ve got Bennett and Hochstetler on the floor at the same time, especially the way Huffman is playing, it gives you one less 3-point shooter to worry about.”
Against Ohio Valley it was a matter of stopping the ball.
The Fighting Scots got to the rim at will in the second quarter and shot 61.5 percent (8 of 13).
Englebrecht cited a big change.
“Probably the halftime talk; (Wiedie) was not happy about that which was very understandable,” Englebrecht said. “A lot of layups so we just had to pick up their help-side defense.”
Back In Action
Elissa Ellerbrock and Kendyl Hinton each returned to the court for the first time in a few games but for different reasons.
Ellerbrock was battling a high ankle sprain, one Wiedie thought could keep her out much longer than only a week.
She played 10 and 17 minutes off the bench in both games.
“It says a lot about her and her toughness,” Wiedie said after Tuesday’s game. “I didn’t want to rush her back. We’ve still got two big games left and the tournament.
“Just sometimes the matchup is better with Jenna out there because of Jenna’s ability to defend multiple positions and Jenna is one of our best help-side defenders. …
“Elissa brings that offensive part to the game; she’s probably a much more aggressive offensive player ot the game but I think Jenna is a much better defender.”
Allie Thobe has remained in the starting lineup, recording 10 steals in four starts.
With Hinton, Wiedie also linked it to more of a comfort thing.
Hinton had two points, three rebounds and five assists in 10 minutes.
“I think the way Thobe and Emily (Molnar) have been playing, I’ve shortened the bench,” Wiedie said. “I told her there’s going to be an opportunity to get back in the flow and the mix. I thought she did a nice job and took advantage of that opportunity.”
The Oilers have but one regular season game to go and it’s a big one.
They have nine days off between when they host Hillsdale (16-9, 14-7) 3 p.m. Saturday and need a win to remain hopeful with an outside shot at the GMAC title.
Ursuline (19-7, 16-4) and Cedarville (21-5, 16-4) each have two games remaining.
The Arrows host Malone and Walsh this week while the Yellow Jackets battle Davis & Elkins and Alderson Broaddus.
“It’s been a long time since they’ve had a Friday, Saturday, Sunday off,” Wiedie said of his players. “I think they’re going to enjoy that.
“We just prepare. We continue to build on what we’ve done it the last four games in particular. I think our defense has stepped up. If we shoot the ball better on Ursuline we blow them out. …
“That’s been kind of the thing that needed to be fixed a little bit. We’re heading in the right direction and that will be the focus next week.”
Women’s Basketball: Weekend Recap
By ANDY WOLF