Women's Basketball remains unbeaten in the OAC with a tight 61-59 victory over Mount Union

Women's Basketball remains unbeaten in the OAC with a tight 61-59 victory over Mount Union

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.

Senior Jordan Kimes and junior Carly Thomas led ONU with 14 points each and junior Karissa Steffas added 12 points and nine rebounds.

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.