The Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team held 21st-ranked Rochester to six free throws over an 11-minute, 18-second stretch that bridged the first and second halves.
But, the Bishops couldn’t take advantage of their solid defense and Rochester used a 15-2 run in the second half to create distance on its way to 71-60 victory to win the Bishop Classic/Hoops for Hope Friday afternoon at Branch Rickey Arena.
“We didn’t score for about four or five minutes (in the first half),” OWU coach Stacey Ungashick Lobdell said. “We just didn’t take advantage of the easy shots we were getting. We were creating them for ourselves. That was the difference.”
Jillian Silverstri finally broke the seal with a jumper with 5:12 left in the third.
A pair of Alexandra Leslie baskets jump-started a 7-0 Rochester run as it took a 51-38 lead at the end of the third.
Lauren Foley hit a three-pointer for the Yellowjackets as they pushed their lead to 19 in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Leslie led all scorers with 24 points and added seven rebounds. Lauren Deming added 11 points and six rebounds.
“(Leslie) is a really nice player,” Ungashick Lobdell said. “Not just with her size, but she can score. When you have somebody like her with her presence in the paint … she can create her own two-foot shot every time. I’m not sure there was much more we could do with her.”
The Bishops held Rochester to just two Mary Kronenwetter free throws over the final six and a half minutes of the first half after the Yellowjackets had scored the first seven points of the second quarter to take a 12-point lead – its biggest of the game.
But, OWU couldn’t take advantage of its stingy defense. The Bishops, held to 8-for-30 shooting overall, including a 1-for-10 effort from three-point range, struggled from the field in the first half, .
Rochester led 32-25 at the break after leading 23-18 at the end of the first.
Megan Kuether had 18 points to lead the Bishops (4-8), Taylor Dickson finished with 17 points and Nicole Popovich added seven points and nine rebounds.
“I’m proud of (our team) and we’re young,” Ungashick Lobdell said. “I can’t say enough about Taylor Dickson and Megan Kuether and their leadership. Going into conference play, I think we’re right where we need to be.”
Next up, OWU is back to NCAC play at DePauw Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
GOUCHER 68, KALAMAZOO 61
Goucher started the second half 17-1 to take control and held on to defeat Kalamazoo to take home third place in the Bishop Classic/Hoops for Hope Friday afternoon at Branch Rickey Arena.
Briana Bull had 24 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and six steals, Jaida Scarborough had 19 points and Katie Pacak added 10 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Gophers (4-7), who led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter.
A Libby Munoz three-pointer cut the Kalamazoo deficit to two points with 4:10 left in the game. But, Goucher ran off seven straight points to maintain control.
Emily Kozal scored all 10 points during a 10-2 start for the Hornets (1-10) and finished with a game-high 27 points, Danielle Simon added 12 points, 11 boards and six assists and Sidney Wall pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.
Rochester’s Leslie had 46 points and 17 rebounds over two games to win tournament MVP.
Ohio Wesleyan 85, Hobart 63.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.