In search of its second Ohio Athletic Conference victory of the season, Heidelberg needed to go every second of Saturday's final minute against Muskingum.
When Tori Jarrett's potential game-tying 3 missed just before the buzzer, the Student Princes got what they were looking for - a 78-75 victory that places them right in the thick of things in the race for the final spot in the OAC Tournament.
Heidelberg led almost the entire game, and held a 65-55 advantage after a jumper by Kayla Zachrich with 5:59 left in regulation.
But the Muskies, behind a 21-point effort from Hannah Nelson, got back into the game with a 9-2 run, capped by a Jarrett 3 with 3:49 left to make it 67-64.
Muskingum tied the game at 71 when Nelson connected on a jumper with 1:40 left. But Jordan Ickes, who finished with 19 points, beat the Muskies defense for a layup and the lead with 1:16 on the clock.
Muskingum turned the ball over on the next possession, and Columbian graduate Megan Miller connected on a pair of foul shots with 40 seconds left to extend HU's lead to 75-71.
Muskingum's Karen Sidwell answered with a stick-back jumper with 29 seconds left.
After Kathleen Phillips split a pair of foul shots to put HU up 76-73, Jendy Weppler made a pair of foul shots for Muskingum, bringing the Muskies within one. Twenty-two seconds remained.
Six seconds later, Miller was fouled. She split the pair, giving Muskingum the ball down two.
Weppler attempted a layup to tie things, but missed. HU's Paige Ricketts got the rebound and pushed the ball ahead to Molly Shriber, who was fouled with seven seconds left. Shriber made one of two at the line, giving the Muskies one last shot to tie.
That shot went to Jarrett.
"The 3-pointer, it was heavily contested," Heidelberg coach Marcie Alberts said. "She took a step back from about 27 feet away, and I could tell where I was standing [that the shot wasn't going in]."
Heidelberg had a hard-earned win.
Phillips finished with 24, but Alberts said there was plenty of credit to go around.
"It was 100 percent a team effort," she said. "Megan stepped up huge and so did Jordan, she had some big buckets, played great defense."
Nicole Payne, making her first start, had eight points. Zachrich came off the bench for six points and Ricketts, limited to reserve duty after getting banged up at Ohio Northern on Wednesday, didn't score but was praised by Alberts for her defense.
Miller had 15 points for HU.
Jarrett finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Muskies (7-16, 2-14). Meghan Billick had 13 points, while Weppler had 11.
The win ties Heidelberg and Muskingum for the final spot in the OAC Tournament with two games to go.
HU hosts BW Wednesday.
Davis, 'Berg bounce back against Muskies
NEW CONCORD - Coming off a subpar game - for him, anyway - Wednesday against Ohio Northern, Heidelberg post Nate Davis set about inflicting damage at Muskingum.
And, boy, did he ever.
Davis, who was limited to just nine points and six rebounds in a loss to the Polar Bears, bounced back in a big way in New Concord, collecting 30 points, 13 rebounds in leading the Student Princes to a 79-72 win over the Muskies.
"Nate was more decisive with the basketball, and we were a lot more aggressive today," said Heidelberg coach Anthony Gholson, whose team snapped a seven game Ohio Athletic Conference losing streak. "The biggest thing, we told the kids they had to open their hearts and play together. They battled and we were able to make plays."
Davis wasn't the only one to have a big game. Senior guard Dane Givner, who torched the Muskies when the teams played in Tiffin last month, again came up big with 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Givner made only 4 of 12 shots from the floor, but Gholson said the key was his assertiveness.
"What he did, he rebounded well, he attacked the basket, rebounded the basketball; it was amazing," Gholson said. "He had his hands on everything."
Mike Petrie added 15 points and five rebounds for HU, who improved to 10-13, 5-11.
Muskingum (1-22, 0-16) got a monster effort from Dave Brown, who had seven 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 36 points.
Heidelberg has two games left on its schedule, then the OAC Tournament.
"What we're trying to do is play these games like they are tournament games, get ourselves tournament ready," Gholson said "We're approaching this thing now possession by possession."
TU tennis narrowly loses
Nationally-ranked Northwest Ohio escaped Tiffin University with a 5-4 win Saturday, handing the Dragons their first loss.
The teams split the six individual matches, but the Racers, ranked 21st among NAIA schools, took two of the three doubles matches to drop TU to 3-1.
Max Waeters (7-6, 7-6), Robbie Ball (6-4, 6-1) and Nicholas Almeida (6-1, 6-4) each captured a singles win for TU.
Luiz Carvalho and Kyle Johnson picked up an 8-4 doubles win for the Dragons.
Olivet grapplers top 'Berg
OLIVET, Mich. - Heidelberg traveled out of state on Friday, competing against Olivet College in Michigan falling 33-6.
Heidelberg won a pair of matches, including one by 125-pound Columbian graduate Delian Schneider defeating Henry McKeown, 11-9.
Heidelberg's Jeremy Stepp chipped in the other victory at 174 pounds, winning over Connor Sharp, 8-4.
The loss drops Heidelberg to 10-8 in dual matches for the season.
Heidelberg hosts Ohio Northern in a dual at home Tuesday.
Tiffin climbs atop Hilltoppers
Two wrestlers pulled out pins to lead No. 25 Tiffin (6-7) to a 34-12 win over No. 40 West Liberty (3-6).
133-pound Mike Screptock pinned Dillon Nolte in 2:30 while 184-pound Jake Cramer did the same to WLU's Andy Church, taking just 2:12 to win his match.
Steve Pastor (125), Ryan McKenzie (141), Alex Rivera (165), Alek Hughes (197) and Kevin Christmas (285) all were victorious for Tiffin.