Freshman post Macy Miller sank a lay-in with :16 to play to cap a game-ending 5-0 run and give the Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team a thrilling 63-61 North Coast Athletic Conference win over Denison on Wednesday in Granville.
The win, the Bishops’ (16-4, 7-2) third straight, moved them into a second-place tie with Wittenberg with five NCAC games left.
Denison (15-5, 6-3) had broken a 58-58 tie when Morgan Kress converted a 3-point play with 2:40 left in regulation time.
With less than a minute to play, Miller missed a jumper but grabbed the offensive rebound and dished to senior point guard Elizabeth Homan, who buried a game-tying 3-pointer with :49 to go.
Senior guard Kasey Schipfer then stole the ball from Abby Cooch, and Miller scored a fast-break lay-in to give the Bishops the lead.
The Big Red had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Ada Taute’s jumper at the buzzer was off the mark.
Ohio Wesleyan scored the final 7 points of the first quarter, breaking a 10-10 tie with a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Mia Guscoff and a pair of hoops from Miller. The Bishops stretched the lead to as many as 15 points during the second period when a pair of Schipfer free throws gave Ohio Wesleyan a 32-17 lead midway through the quarter, but Taute hit a 3-pointer and Cooch connected twice from downtown as the Big Red pulled to within 38-32 at the intermission.
Denison held Ohio Wesleyan to 7 points during the third quarter, taking the lead on Abigail Westmeyer’s lay-in during the final minute of the period, and each team would lead during the fourth quarter, setting up the final minutes.
Schipfer led the Bishops with 21 points and shared the team lead with 5 rebounds. Junior post Alyssa Griner added 15 points and senior guard Lauren Denison scored 11 points. Homan had a game-high 8 assists and Miller and junior post Karlee Ross also shared the team lead with 5 rebounds apiece.
Junior guard Henry Hinkle had 5 points and sophomore wing Isaac Ward added 4 more during a game-opening 11-2 run that started Ohio Wesleyan on its way to a 78-64 North Coast Athletic Conference win over Hiram on Wednesday in Hiram.
Hinkle opened the evening’s scoring with a lay-in and followed by converting a 3-point play, and after Hiram’s Trent Jakacki put the Terriers (2-18, 0-11) on the scoreboard, it was Ward with a pair of hoops sandwiched around a jumper by junior wing David Rice, giving the Bishops (8-13, 5-7) an 11-2 lead at the 15:37 mark.
Hiram’s Brock Makrancy answered with a 3-pointer, but Ohio Wesleyan pushed the lead back into double digits with the help of 3-pointers by Hinkle and senior post Tony Carter, and the Bishops would extend the lead to 17 points at 33-16 on Carter’s lay-in with 5:16 to go.
The Terriers rallied late in the half, closing to within 37-29 on Jakacki’s lay-in with :29 to play, and the hosts were still within 41-33 after a Jakacki jumper early in the second half.
Ohio Wesleyan followed with a 10-0 run that included a 3-pointer and a 3-point play by Hinkle, a lay-in from sophomore wing Jessee Battle, and a Hinkle jumper that gave the Bishops a 51-33 lead, and the margin would remain in double figures throughout the remainder of the contest.
Hinkle led the Bishops with 22 points, while Battle matched his career best with 20 and Ward finished with 12. Rice matched a career best with 13 rebounds, and Rice, Hinkle, and senior guard Joey Duke shared the team lead with 4 assists apiece.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.