WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Wilmington College women's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow shooting start in a 64-55 loss to Ohio Northern University (ONU) in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action from Hermann Court on Wednesday evening.
Kennedy Lewis gave the Quakers an offensive lift from the tip-off, scoring seven of the game's first nine points by herself, but Wilmington wouldn't score again for nearly 10 minutes. Two free throws from Faith Teaford ended the drought at the 8:07 mark of the second quarter, but the Polar Bears had built a 16-9 lead by that points thanks to a 14-0 run. The Quakers wouldn't get closer than six points and trailed 28-20 at halftime.
Wilmington got within five points on a Kelly Noll triple at the 6:38 mark of the third quarter, and after ONU answered with a basket from Emily Mescher on the ensuring possession, a Lewis bucket made the score 34-29 in favor of the Polar Bears midway through the third quarter. A defensive stop would give the Quakers a chance to get closer, but a turnover followed by consecutive baskets put the visitors back ahead by double digits.
The Quakers, who were attempting to break a 12-game losing skid to the Polar Bears, battled back to within a single basket after another Noll triple fell through with 3:50 to play, making the scoring 51-48. Unfortunately for Wilmington, one of ONU's 11 offensive rebounds on the following possession led to an Alyssa Manley three-pointer that pushed the lead back to six points. After a Wilmington turnover, another ONU basket put the visitors up eight. The Polar Bears would hit free throws over the final two minutes to earn the win.
ONU finished 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) from the field as well as 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from distance. Wilmington countered with 18-of-53 (34.0 percent) from the field and 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) from the charity stripe. Both teams made a dozen free throws, but the Polar Bears won the rebounding battle 45-28 which led to a 15-3 advantage in second-chance points.
Individually, Lewis led all scorers with 16 points to go along with three rebounds, two assists two steals and one block. A trio of Quakers – Noll, Mackenzie Campbell and McKayla Binkley – scored nine points.
Mescher led ONU with a double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds) in the victory. Jenna Dirksen and Lexi Jacobs also finished in double figures for the Polar Bears.
Wilmington (9-9, 4-7 OAC) travels to Heidelberg University for a 3 p.m. contest on Saturday.