Senior guard Kasey Schipfer scored 7 points as the Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team narrowed a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to just 4 points, but Muskingum withstood the comeback and held on for a 77-71 non-conference win on Wednesday in New Concord.
Muskingum’s Tori Jones opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a jumper that gave the Muskies a 67-50 lead.
Schipfer answered by converting a 3-point play on the other end to start the Ohio Wesleyan comeback, and with the Bishops trailing, 71-55, Schipfer and senior guard Lauren Denison knocked down jumpers before a pair of Schipfer free throws made it 71-61 midway through the quarter.
Senior point guard Elizabeth Homan connected on a 3-pointer with 4:20 remaining, and junior post Karlee Ross followed with a pair of free throws at the 2:15 mark before freshman post Macy Miller stole the ball and split a pair of free throws to cap a 12-0 run and bring the Bishops within 71-67.
Jones sank a 3-pointer to end Muskingum’s 6-minute-plus scoring drought, and while the Bishops were able to get the margin back to 4 points as buckets by Denison and Schipfer made it 75-71, that was as close as Ohio Wesleyan would come.
Muskingum shot 54.5 percent from the field during the first half and led by as many as 10 points, that coming on a Claudia Harrington 3-pointer that gave the Muskies a 32-22 lead.
Ohio Wesleyan reeled off the next 8 points, with Schipfer scoring twice before a Homan lay-in brought the Bishops within 32-30, but the Muskies got a 3-pointer from Jones in the final seconds of the half for a 37-30 lead at the break, and a 10-2 run midway through the third quarter helped Muskingum extend the lead into double digits.
Schipfer led the Bishops with 23 points, while Ross added 10 points and a team-high 9 rebounds and Homan contributed 10 points and 6 assists.
Sophomore wing Jessee Battle buried a jumper that gave Ohio Wesleyan the lead, but Wooster countered with an 11-1 run and went on to a 79-42 win in the North Coast Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday in Wooster.
Battle’s jumper gave the Bishops a 7-6 lead with 12:09 left in the first half, but the Scots responded with a 3-pointer from Isaiah Johnson on their ensuing possession to retake the lead. J.J. Cline would hit back-to-back buckets from the paint during the Scots’ 11-1 run, which ended with the hosts holding a 17-8 advantage with 8:08 to play in the period.
The Bishops rallied with a jumper by senior wing Reece Mitchell and a 3-pointer by sophomore post Matt Butler to pull within 20-13, but a 9-0 Wooster run stretched the margin to 29-13 with 3:30 left in the half, and the lead would remain in double figures throughout the remainder of the contest.
Junior wing Landon Turnbull led the Bishops with 11 points.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.