By Scott DeWeerd
ALBION, Mich. – Despite its best effort, Albion College fell to Hope College, the nation's second-ranked NCAA Division III women's basketball team, 63-47 Wednesday night.
Albion fell to 6-11 overall and 2-6 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) standings, but Coach Carden was proud of the fight her team put up.
"Our girls played really hard tonight," she said. "We never felt like we were out of the game. I'm really excited to see what happens in the second half of the season."
The Flying Dutch held Albion scoreless for a stretch of over six minutes during the first half and eventually built their lead up to 18 points. Albion struggled to get its offense going, shooting just 1-for-9 from beyond the arc and 27 percent overall throughout the half. Sophomore guard Mikaela Bromley had eight of her career-high 14 points in the first half and helped Albion cut Hope's lead to 12 heading into intermission.
"Mikaela played really well…really confident. She was attacking the basket," said Carden. "She really stepped up with Brett [deBear] struggling early on."
The Britons came out of halftime fired up, trading baskets with Hope on the first couple of possessions then proceeding to force back-to-back turnovers en route to a 6-0 run cutting Hope's lead to 37-31. Albion got as close as 39-34, but the Flying Dutch capitalized on a slew of turnovers and another six-minute Albion scoring drought to take control of the game for good with an 11-0 run.
"The turnovers were costly," said Carden. "They scored 27 points off of turnovers. We made it a point of emphasis to take care of the ball today but Hope just speeds you up. That's what they're good at."
Sophomore forward Emily DeWaters continues to do an excellent job stepping up in the absence of injured forward Darian Payne—she recorded eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 29 minutes.
Starting point guard Olivia Savage, a first-year player, contributed nine rebounds and five assists for the Britons, while Oreyana Curry, added eight points and two assists off the bench.
Albion gets a short rest and looks to start fresh on Saturday as they begin the second half of league play at Kalamazoo. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.