Thomas scores career-high 22 points to lead Women's Basketball past Heidelberg 81-66

Thomas scores career-high 22 points to lead Women's Basketball past Heidelberg 81-66

By: Caleb Scott

ADA -- Sophomore Carly Thomas scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Ohio Northern women's basketball team to a 81-66 victory over Heidelberg on Wednesday night at the ONU Sports Center.

The Polar Bears improve their record to 11-3 overall and 4-3 in OAC play, while the Student Princes fall to 10-4, 3-4.

Thomas shot 6-of-11 from the field, including a perfect 5-for-5 mark in three pointers.

As a team, ONU finished a sizzling 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from beyond the arc and also shot 29-of-54 (53.7 percent) from the field.

Senior Cenzie Yoder finished with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, while sophomore Brooke Espenschied added 10 points, six assists and five rebounds.

ONU built an early 20-8 lead in the first half with 14:27 remaining, on a three pointer from junior Kaitlyn Theisen.

A jumper by junior Becca Saine would give Northern their biggest first half lead at 36-19 with 2:24 to go in the first half.

Northern would take a 40-28 lead into the half.

Heidelberg would open up the second half on a 13-3 run to pull within 43-41 with 16:50 left in the second half.

The Polar Bears went on a short run of their own scoring the next five points to pull ahead 48-41 with 15:46 to go.

The Student Princes would rally again and cut the ONU lead to 50-48 with just under 13 minutes remaining.

But Northern countered with a 13-2 run to build its lead back to 63-50 and put the game away.

"We just needed to settle down and stop playing so fast," said head coach Michele Durand. "Once we were able to play at a better tempo, we were able to run our offense more effectively."

The Student Princes finished the game shooting 25-of-59 (42.4 percent) and were 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) in three pointers.

The ONU defense was tough all night, holding the second leading scorer in the OAC, Kathleen Phillips, to just 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"Taylor [Hermiller] did a great job on Phillips all evening," Durand added. "We were able to contain her and force her into some difficult shots."

ONU held a slim 33-32 rebounding margin.

Ohio Northern will return to action on Saturday, when it hosts Capital at 3 pm.