Senior guard Claire Sterling scored 5 straight points to close out the third quarter and put the Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team ahead to stay, and sophomore guard Molly Delaney and sophomore post Cierra Joiner hit timely free throws down the stretch to help the Bishops to a 78-77 North Coast Athletic Conference win over Wooster on Saturday in Wooster.
With the score tied at 59 during the final minute of the third quarter, Sterling drained a pair of free throws, then beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to give Ohio Wesleyan a 64-59 lead.
The Bishops would protect the lead through the entire fourth period, coming up with an answer each time the Fighting Scots scored to make it a one-possession game.
Joiner’s lay-in gave the Bishops their biggest lead of the period at 70-63, and another Joiner lay-in made it a 75-68 game with 1:52 left in regulation time.
Jenna Stanton split a pair of free throws with 90 seconds to play, and Cat Fiorito connected on a 3-pointer that brought the Scots within 75-72 at the :50 mark.
Delaney was fouled and sank both free throws with :31 remaining, but Wooster answered with a Stanton lay-in to pull within 77-74 with :04 to play.
Joiner was fouled with :02 to play and she hit the first free throw, but missed the second. Wooster called a timeout and got a 3-pointer from Fiorito at the horn for the 78-77 final.
Ohio Wesleyan opened the game with 3-pointers by Sterling and Delaney, but Wooster came back to take a 15-11 lead on A’Janey Nicholson’s jumper with 3:12 left in the first quarter. The Scots still led, 33-29, after a Sarah Marion jumper midway through the second period, but the Bishops countered with a 3-pointer from Delaney and 2 more by sophomore guard Leah Maniaci to turn that deficit into a 38-33 lead in less than 90 seconds.
The Bishops took a 44-37 lead at the break and did not trail again, although Wooster pulled even at 53-53 and again at 59-59 late in the third quarter.
Sterling led the Bishops with a career-high 33 points, going 11-for-11 from the line on the day, and snared a team-high 8 rebounds. Joiner finished with 19 points and Delaney and Maniaci scored 10 apiece. Senior guard Meghann Dunning led the team with 6 assists.
Fiorito and Stanton had 16 points each for Wooster.
Freshman guard Jack Clement sank a pair of free throws that gave Ohio Wesleyan a second-half lead, but Wooster rallied for an 80-71 North Coast Athletic Conference win over the Bishops on Saturday in Wooster.
Clement hit a pair of free throws with 12:06 left in regulation time, completing a comeback that saw the Bishops wipe out a 7-point deficit early in the second half.
Wooster answered with a Peyton Bennington jumper to retake the lead, but Ohio Wesleyan stayed close and was within 54-52 after a 3-pointer by sophomore wing Ethan Stanislawski. The Fighting Scots countered with a 10-2 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by Keonn Scott, and Najee Hardaway’s jumper closed out the run and gave the hosts a 64-54 lead with 6:08 to play.
Stanislawski and senior guard Jaret Gerber connected from long range to pull Ohio Wesleyan within 66-60 at the 5:15 mark, but that 6-point deficit was as close as the Bishops would come.
Wooster had taken a 7-5 lead on a Keonn Scott 3-pointer, but freshman guard Bryson Lane answered with a 3-pointer on the other end, followed by a jumper and a pair of 3-pointers by Clement that stretched the Bishop lead to 16-7 with 13:55 left in the first half.
The Fighting Scots came back to tie the game at 18 on a Danyon Hempy 3-pointer, then took a 26-20 lead on a Scott 3-pointer.
Gerber and junior wing Dawsin Tillman hit 3-pointers to wipe out that 6-point margin, but Wooster would score the final 4 points of the half to take a 34-30 lead into the locker room.
Stanislawski led the Bishops with 19 points, while Clement finished with 14 points and a team-high 7 rebounds. Freshman post Grant Spicer added 11 points and Lane had 10 points.
Hempy scored 28 points for Wooster.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.