WC women unable to hold off Polar Bears

ADA, Ohio – For the second consecutive game, the Wilmington College women’s basketball team held a halftime lead. Unfortunately for the Quakers, the result proved to be the same.

Ohio Northern University trailed 42-30 at the break, but the Polar Bears used a 28-10 third quarter to come from behind and win the Ohio Athletic Conference contest 75-67 on Wednesday evening.

“We played about as well as we’ve played all year on both ends of the floor in the first half,” WC head coach Jerry Scheve said. “ONU played like a championship team in the second half and their experience helped overcome the deficit. Despite giving up the lead, I was proud of how we battled to get within striking distance at the end.”

ONU led 10-8 midway through the first quarter, but Wilmington responded with a 14-2 run over the final four minutes capped by five consecutive points from Faith Teaford. The Quakers would maintain that advantage and lead by as many as 14 (42-28) after McKayla Binkley’s jumper fell with 1:12 to play. Alyssa Manley quickly answered for ONU making the score 42-30 at halftime.

The Polar Bears scored the first 10 points of the second half to get within a single basket and eventually took the lead on an Emily Brock triple at the 4:15 mark. Wilmington battled back to within a basket as Jacqueline Baith converted a free throw with three seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Lexi Jacobs’ 35-foot heave at the buzzer fell to give the hosts a six-point advantage (58-52) after 30 minutes.

Wilmington would get within four points early in the fourth quarter, but a 10-4 Polar Bear run sealed the game.

Both teams shot over 40 percent from the field in the game, but it was ONU that fared better from distance, converting 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) of its triples compared to 8-of-28 (28.6 percent) for Wilmington. The Polar Bears won the rebounding battle 41-27 but were forced into 11 turnovers compared to just seven committed for the Quakers.

Individually, Jenna Dirksen led all scorers with 18 points while Emily Mescher and Broke both added 14 points for ONU. Teaford finished with 17 points for Wilmington along with two blocks while Hannah Binkley chipped in nine points off the bench. Kennedy Lewis dished out a career high eight assists to go along with seven points.

“Faith Teaford had as good of a game as she’s ever had in her career here,” said Scheve. “She really shot the ball well offensively and played just as well on the defensive side of the ball.”

Wilmington (4-2, 0-2 OAC) travels to the University of Mount Union for a 3 p.m. contest on Saturday.