Kean holds off hard-charging OWU


Junior guard Claire Sterling (West Jefferson) scored 8 points in the middle 2 quarters as the Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team reduced a 21-point deficit to a 2-point margin, but Kean withstood the Bishop comeback and went on to a 65-60 non-conference win at the Daytona Beach Shootout on Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The Cougars broke a 2-2 tie with 11 straight points to take the lead for good, getting a pair of hoops from Danielle Oakley and a 3-pointer by Payce Lange.

Freshman post Cierra Joiner (Centerburg) sank a lay-in with 3:29 left in the first quarter for the Bishops’ first field goal of the game, also ending the 11-0 Kean run, but the Cougars collected a pair of hoops from Bre Spencer on the way to a 19-4 lead with 2:20 to play in the period. Kean would lead by a 20-6 count after the first quarter and opened the second quarter with an 8-1 spurt that made it 28-7 with 7:45 left in the first half.

Trailing, 32-13, with 6:04 remaining in the half, the Bishops closed out the period with an 11-1 run that saw Joiner contribute a lay-in and a pair of free throws, freshman guard Devin Hefner (Parkersburg, W.Va./South) knock down a 3-pointer, and junior post Elea Karras (Bellbrook/Miami Valley) sink a pair of free throws to pull Ohio Wesleyan within 33-24 at the intermission. Junior point guard Meghan Dunning (Mentor/Lake Catholic) then drove for a lay-in and drilled a 3-pointer during the final 2 minutes of the third quarter to bring the Bishops within 45-43.

The Cougars pulled away early in the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Sarah Olivero and Dayna Sclafani, followed by an Aniyah Moore jumper and another Olivero 3-pointer in a span of less than 2 minutes, extending the lead to 58-45 with 6:05 to play.

Ohio Wesleyan made one more run, with sophomore guard Tia Karras (Bellbrook/Miami Valley), Sterling, Hefner, and Sterling scoring hoops before a Tia Karras 3-pointer narrowed the margin to 62-58 with :39 remaining, but the Cougars sank 3 free throws during the closing seconds to seal the outcome.

Sterling led the Bishops with 14 points, while Hefner and Tia Karras scored 11 points apiece. Sterling and Joiner shared the team lead with 6 rebounds apiece.

Spencer led Kean with 17 points.

Gazette Staff

OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.

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