By Jay Garneau
BEREA – Despite 24 points from sophomore Cenzie Yoder, the Ohio Northern women's basketball team was unable to withstand a second half comeback in a 70-65 loss to Baldwin-Wallace at the Ursprung Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets improve to 16-9 overall and 11-7 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while Ohio Northern closes out its regular season at 20-5 overall and 14-4 in the OAC.
Ohio Northern had a game-high 17-point lead halfway through the second half, but Baldwin-Wallace ended the game on a 32-10 run to pull out the win.
Yoder totaled 24 points on 11-for-17 shooting, also pulling down four rebounds.
B-W's Jessica Carpenter scored a game-high 27 points, shooting 4-for-5 from beyond the arc and a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.
Juniors Joanna Snyder and Morgan Dumbaugh also scored in double figures, totaling 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Senior Kara Dysert added eight points and a game-high 12 boards.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 14-5 lead, but ONU scored nine straight points to tie the game at 14-14 halfway through the first half.
With the game later tied at 21-21, Northern closed the half on a 12-4 run to take a 33-25 lead into the break.
Holding a 45-38 lead nine minutes into the second half, Dumbaugh scored eight points during a 10-0 run as ONU pushed its lead to 55-38 at the 9:11 mark.
B-W answered back, as a pair of Carpenter three-pointers sparked a 10-0 run, cutting ONU's lead to 55-48 with 7:04 remaining.
The teams traded several baskets before a Snyder trey pushed the margin to 63-52 with 5:41 to play.
The Yellow Jackets then went on an 11-0 run, capped off by a Shari Mangas three-pointer, to tie the game at 63-63 with 2:52 to play.
Yoder connected on a layup to give ONU another two-point lead, but B-W quickly answered with a three-pointer and ONU was unable to score again as the Yellow Jackets were a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to close out the 70-65 win.
In the last nine minutes of the game, ONU committed seven turnovers compared to just two for B-W.
Additionally, ONU shot just 1-for-7 from the field and 0-for-2 from the free throw line in the last five minutes, compared to 4-for-7 and 8-for-8 for the Yellow Jackets.
The Polar Bears, who had already clinched the second seed before this game, receive a bye to the semifinal round, where they will host the second round winner of Otterbein and Wilmington/John Carroll on Thursday night.