ADA — The Wilmington College women’s basketball team rallied on multiple occasions Saturday but were unable to get over the hump in a 70-55 loss to unbeaten Ohio Northern in the Ohio Athletic Conference championship game at Campoli Court.
The win puts the 27-0 Polar Bears into the NCAA Div. III national tournament.
The loss ends the WC season at 18-10.
Mackenzie Campbell led Wilmington with 18 points and seven rebounds. Brittaney Jefferson had 15 points, a team-high eight rebounds, a team-high four assists and a team-best three steals.
Jefferson and Campbell were named to the OAC all-tournament team.
Wilmington struggled mightily on the offensive end in the opening period. The Fightin’ Quakers were just 2 for 13 from the field and committed six turnovers. But thanks to a strong rebounding effort — Moyer and Hooper had four each in the first 10 minutes — Wilmington was within six, 13-7, after one.
The second quarter offensive struggles for WC allowed ONU to pull away. Wilmington went 6:22 in the second without a field goal. The Fightin’ Quakers went from down 18-11 (Emily Smith baseline jumper) to down 30-13. WC was just 5 for 25 from the field, which included 1 for 8 from beyond the arc, in the first half.
“Our shots weren’t falling,” said Moyer. “Then we’d start to shoot our way out it (the slump) and they’d go on a run. We couldn’t get over that hump.”
Wilmington’s rebounding edge was considerable early but when Moyer went to the bench in the second, the Polar Bears took advantage with several offensive rebounds.
“There were a couple of possessions where we just didn’t rebound and it put us in a hole a little bit,” Jefferson said.
In the third, Wilmington was still unable to find the shooting range. However, the defense was strong enough to keep ONU within reach. Moyer had two steals but the Fightin’ Quakers converted just one into points, Tabor’s basket to make it 30-19. Tabor scored shortly thereafter to complete an 8-0 WC run and make it 30-21.
Moyer went out of the game at the 6:02 mark of the third with her third foul. Campbell drained a three, assist to Hooper, to make it 33-26 with 4:23 to go in the third and suddenly it was a ballgame again.
Jefferson had a pair of three-pointers — one of the old-fashioned variety — and WC was still close, 40-32. But the game swung back to the Polar Bears in a big way on a deadball technical foul against WC when one of the ONU players fell to the court.
The deadball technical foul was called on Wilmington as ONU made a three-point shot. With the two technical free throws and the subsequent basket, the WC deficit went from 40-32 to 47-32 within a span of 33 seconds.
“I don’t think any of us thought it was over (at that time),” said Savannah Hooper. “We were going to keep fighting until the final buzzer.”
Indeed, the Fightin’ Quakers fought back. Andracki drilled a three. Then Campbell made a three. Tabor had back-to-back baskets and Jefferson made two, 53-46.
Tabor’s field goal and free throw at 3:32 made it 55-50 then Jefferson hit one of two at the line to bring WC within four, 55-51, with 2:55 to play in regulation. Just as quickly, though, ONU seized control with an 8-0 run for a 63-51 lead that ultimately put a cap on an unbeaten regular season.
“We were playing against a great basketball team,” Scheve said. “Nobody has found a way to beat them all year. And I’m not sure anybody will find a way.”
ONU Grads: Scott Stemple, Troy Diels and Marianne Thompson Diels are a trio of Ohio Northern graduates who have ties to Clinton County.
Troy Diels is the athletic director at Wilmington High School. He met his wife Marianne at ONU, who was a tennis player there following her career at Clinton-Massie. Stemple, who is now the athletic director at Mason High School, is the former men’s basketball coach at Wilmington College.
February 25, 2017
@Campoli Court at the ONU Sports Center
Ohio Northern University
Ohio Northern 70 Wilmington 55
(55) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jefferson 5-1-4-15 Andracki 2-1-0-5 Campbell 6-2-4-18 Tabor 5-0-0-10 Moyer 0-0-0-0 Murphy 0-0-0-0 Hooper 1-0-2-4 Ritz 0-0-0-0 Smith 1-0-0-2 Harman 0-0-1-1 Arling 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 20-4-11-55
(70) OHIO NORTHERN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lauck 2-1-2-7 Cramer 4-2-8-18 Campbell 3-0-3-9 Dirksen 4-0-0-8 Bullimore 3-0-1-7 Manley 0-0-0-0 Kirkbride 0—0-0-0 Tesny 0-0-0-0 Weeks 1-0-2-4 Jack 0-0-0-0 Black 3-0-7-13 Raker 0-0-2-2 Hurd 0-0-0-0 Wyss 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 20-3-27-70
FIELD GOALS: W 20-57 (Campbell 6-12); ON 20-57 (Cramer 4-5)
3 PT FIELD GOALS: W 4-23 (Campbell 2-5); ON 3-15 (Cramer 2-3)
FREE THROWS: W 11-14 (Campbell 4-4 Jefferson 4-5 Hooper 2-2); ON 27-31 (Cramer 8-9 Black 7-8)
REBOUNDS: W-33 (Jefferson 8 Campbell 7 Moyer 7 Hooper 7 Tabor 2); ON-43 (Bullimore 8 Raker 8 Cramer 6 Campbell 5 Dirksen 5)
ASSISTS: W-10 (Jefferson 4 Campbell 2 Moyer 2 Hooper 2); ON-10 (Lauck 3 Dirksen 3)
STEALS: W-6 (Jefferson 3 Moyer 2); ON-6 (Lauck 2 Dirksen 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: W-0 ON-1
TURNOVERS: W-15; ON-14
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports