Furious rally falls short for WC women 68-62

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Wilmington College women’s basketball team nearly climbed out of a 23-point hole, but Otterbein University held on for a 68-62 Ohio Athletic Conference victory at the Rike Center Wednesday evening.

Wilmington shot 22-of-59 (37.3 percent) for the game, but made just two three-pointers. The OAC’s best free throw shooting team entering the game, the Quakers made 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) from the charity stripe. WC won the rebounding battle 33-31.

Otterbein’s Olivia Majors led all scorers with a career-high 23 points.

Kennedy Lewis finished with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting for Wilmington while Jada Pohlen and Marisa Seiler also scored in double figures. Cassidy Lovett added nine points with three steals.

Wilmington (10-6, 4-5 OAC) opens the second half of conference play hosting nationally-ranked Baldwin Wallace University 4 p.m. Saturday at Fred Raizk Arena.

The Quakers simply couldn’t put the ball in the hoop in the first quarter, making just 1-of-16 field goals and trailed 19-3 after 10 minutes. The Cardinals’ lead grew to 22 points as one of Majors’ four three-pointers made it 34-12. Wilmington stayed in the game, however, with a 10-0 run to close the half.

Otterbein outscored Wilmington 15-14 in the third quarter and led 49-36 with 10 minutes to play, but the Quakers rallied again. WC scored on three straight possessions to get within single digits, and driving layups from Kyria Walker and Lewis were followed by a Pohlen free throw to make 54-50.

The Cardinals made it 58-50 before consecutive Pohlen baskets and a free throw pulled the Quakers to within 58-55 with under two minutes to play.

Majors missed a three on the ensuing possession, but Otterbein got the rebound, and a Claire Radabaugh jumper followed by a WC miss sealed the game. The Cardinals, who had only gotten to the line five times in the first 38 minutes, made 8-of-10 free in the final minute to seal their six consecutive win over the Quakers.