By Ashley Birchmeier
FRANKLIN, Ind. —Junior Karissa Steffas led the Ohio Northern women's basketball team to a 70-64 season opening victory over Trine (Ind.) in the night cap of the Franklin (Ind.) Tip-Off Classic Saturday night.
The Polar Bears improve to 1-0 on the season, while Trine falls to 0-1.
Ohio Northern jumped to a 8-0 lead to start the game but Trine battled back pulling within three, 18-15.
The Thunder held ONU scoreless for just over three minutes as it was able to gain its first lead of the game 20-18.
Sophomore Britt Lauck was able to break the scoreless drought for the Polar Bears as she made a three-pointer that gave ONU the one point advantage at 21-20.
Trine went into halftime with a 37-34 lead.
Espenschied led ONU to start the second half as she scored the first four points of the half giving the Polar Bears the one point advantage 38-37.
The lead didn't last long as Trine's Kayla Dunn was able to hit a pair of free-throws to put the Thunder back on top 41-40.
The two teams exchanged points for most of the second half, but a layup and made free-throw from freshman Amy Bullimore put ONU on top by four (65-61) with just under four minutes to go in the game.
The Polar Bears out scored Trine in the second half 36-27.
ONU out rebounded Trine 43-32, as Steffas had a game-high nine rebounds and Kimes added eight.
Ohio Northern is next in action Sunday as they take on Franklin at 5pm in the Franklin Tipp-Off Classic.