Binkley’s best not enough as MU overcomes WC 79-77

ALLIANCE — Junior McKayla Binkley scored a career-high 33 points, but the University of Mount overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the Wilmington College women’s basketball team 79-77 in Ohio Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon.

The Quakers led for all but 37 seconds in the first half. Wilmington, thanks to a layup from Kennedy Lewis and a three-pointer from McKayla Binkley, led 25-18 after the first 10 minutes. The Purple Raiders cut the deficit to 30-29 with 6:27 to play in the first half.

It was at that point Wilmington put some distance between itself and Mount Union. The Quakers outscored the Purple Raiders 17-4 including two three-pointers from both Kelly Noll and Elise Carpenter to take a 47-33 lead into halftime.

The Quakers maintained a healthy lead through the middle of the third quarter when Mount Union flipped the script. The Purple Raiders ended the third on a 16-4 run to get within-60 going to the final quarter.

Another McKayla Binkley three midway through the fourth quarter put the visitors up 72-65, but a layup from Hailey Peoples-O’Neil tied the game 75-75 with 1:42 to play. McKayla Binkley missed on the ensuing possession, but got her own rebound and scored to break the tie.

With under a minute to play, however, Elena Rauhe scored and was fouled. She missed the potential go-ahead free throw, but a Wilmington turnover gave Mount Union the ball with 33 seconds to play. After a missed shot and offensive rebound, Peoples-O’Neil scored the game-winning basket with six seconds left.

Wilmington shot three percentage points better (41-38) than Mount Union from the field, but the Purple Raiders made four more field goals (31-27) and took 16 more shots. The Quakers countered with a 9-of-22 (40.9 percent) performance from three-point range and also won the rebounding battle 49-47.

McKayla Binkley led all scorers with 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. Lewis added 15 points and four assists while Noll and Carpenter both had nine points and at least six rebounds.

A trio of Purple Raiders – Zanny Sauter, Rauhe and Peoples-O’Neil – all scored in double figures including Sauter’s 19 points that led the team. Sarah Hessell grabbed a squad-best 11 rebounds.

Wilmington (9-8, 5-5 OAC) looks to rebound at Ohio Northern University on Wednesday.