By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern got two defensive stops in the final minute and held on for a 61-59 victory over Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference women's basketball game Wednesday night at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 9-3 overall and are 5-0 in the OAC, while the Purple Raiders fall to 5-7, 1-4.
Emily Bova led Mt Union with 19 points.
Steffas nailed two free throws with 1:04 left to put ONU ahead 61-59.
Mount Union had the ball twice with a chance to tie the game or take the lead.
But a steal by Thomas with 33 seconds left thwarted the first possession and the ONU defense forced a traveling call with 6.5 seconds remaining in the game.
ONU missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 with 1.5 seconds to play, but the Purple Raiders could not get off a shot before the buzzer sounded and the Polar Bears had held on for the win.
"Thank goodness for our defense," ONU head coach Michele Durand said. "We did a really nice job in the final minute. It was a typical, hard-fought OAC game and we are fortunate to come away with the win."
Northern made 22-of-48 field goal attempts for 45.8 percent, while the Raiders made 21-of-48 field goals for 43.8 percent.
MtU was 9-of-21 from 3-point range to 5-of-12 for ONU.
Ohio Northern out-rebounded Mount Union 32-30.
Back-to-back baskets by Bullimore gave ONU a 49-41 lead with 14:27 left in the game.
But the Purple Raiders answered with six unanswered points to pull within 49-47 with 11:57 remaining.
Kimes scored ONU's next eight points and the Polar Bears led 57-54 with 4:02 to play.
Bova nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 57-all with 3:35 to play, but Thomas answered with a basket at the 3:13 mark and ONU's lead was 59-57.
Kimes scored at the 6:19 mark of the first half to give ONU a 29-23 advantage, its largest of the first half.
Northern led 36-33 at intermission.
The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday afternoon at Marietta.