For the second straight game, the Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team used a lengthy third-quarter run to help take down a nationally-ranked opponent, going on a 15-0 run during the third period and holding off a fourth-quarter rally to post a 58-55 non-conference win over 17th-ranked Ohio Northern on Tuesday at Branch Rickey Arena.
Last Saturday, the Bishops assembled a 20-0 third-quarter run to break open a win over then-22nd-ranked Marietta.
Tuesday’s action saw the visiting Polar Bears open the third quarter with buckets by Brynn Serbin and Brooke Allen to take a 31-21 lead.
Senior guard Lauren Denison answered with a jumper on the Bishops’ ensuing possession, and after a jumper by senior guard Kasey Schipfer, Denison buried a 3-pointer before 3 lay-ins from junior post Alyssa Griner gave Ohio Wesleyan a 34-31 lead midway through the quarter. Schipfer closed out the run with a jumper that made it 36-31 with 4:11 to play in the period.
Ohio Northern narrowed the deficit to a single point on 2 occasions during the third quarter, but Schipfer scored with :23 left in the period before a free throw from junior guard Alayna McMullen gave the Bishops a 43-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Ohio Wesleyan led by as many as 6 points during the fourth period, but the visitors closed to within 54-53 on a 3-pointer by Abby Dickson with 1:41 to go.
Denison sank a jumper from the lane to push the lead back to 3 points, but the Polar Bears clawed back to 56-55 when Serbin hit a pair of free throws with :18 remaining.
With only one team foul to that point of the quarter, Ohio Northern was forced to foul 4 times in order to send Ohio Wesleyan to the free throw line, with Schipfer sinking a pair of free throws at the :11 mark to restore the 3-point margin.
The Bishop defense prevented the Polar Bears from getting off a potential game-tying 3-point shot to close out the win.
Each team held a 4-point lead during the first quarter, and the biggest lead by either team through most of the second quarter was 2 points until Ohio Northern got a pair of Grace Dean free throws and a Serbin 3-pointer during the final minute of the half to take a 27-21 lead at the break.
Schipfer led the Bishops with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Freshman post Macy Miller went 5-for-5 from the field to finish with 10 points. Senior point guard Elizabeth Homan collected a game-high 5 assists.
Freshman wing Aiden Schmidt, junior guard Henry Hinkle and sophomore wing Isaac Ward combined for all 10 points during a 10-4 burst that gave Ohio Wesleyan the lead, but Capital answered with a 9-0 run and held off a Bishop comeback to escape with an 81-78 non-conference win on Tuesday at Branch Rickey Arena.
With the score tied at 44, Hinkle split a pair of free throws and Schmidt followed with a fast-break lay-in for a 47-44 Bishop lead. After the teams traded points, Schmidt hit another lay-in and Ward buried a 3-pointer to give the Bishops a 54-48 advantage.
Capital countered with a Carter Combs 3-pointer, a pair of free throws and a lay-in from Dom Moegerle, and a jumper by McKane Finkenbine to take a 57-54 lead at the 11:25 mark of the second half.
The Comets still led, 70-65, on a Baden Forup jumper with less than 3 minutes to play, but a 3-pointer by junior wing David Rice made it a one-possession game, and after Rice converted a 3-point play to counter a Nate Gerber jumper, the Bishops were within 72-71 with 1:49 left in regulation time.
Finkenbine sank a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 3, but Rice responded with a lay-in at the 1:24 mark to restore the one-point margin.
Combs connected on another 3-pointer for the Comets, but Hinkle sank a pair of free throws to once again make it a one-possession game with :42 remaining.
On Capital’s ensuing possession, Finkenbine misfired on a lay-in, but Forup was there for the putback for a 79-75 Comet lead.
Gerber added a fast-break lay-in with 3 seconds to play, allowing the visitors to withstand a 3-pointer at the buzzer by sophomore wing Jessee Battle.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.