By Tim Glon
WESTERVILLE — Sophomore Amy Bullimore had her fifth double-double of the season to lead Ohio Northern to a 72-69 Ohio Athletic Conference women's basketball victory at Otterbein Wednesday night at the Rike Center.
Bullimore scored 24 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds for the Polar Bears (15-3 overall), who stay on top of the OAC with a 10-1 league mark.
The Cardinals fall to 8-10, 3-8.
Northern led 21-11 after the first quarter and a Bullimore 3-point play made it 24-11 with 33 seconds gone in the second period.
But OU rallied to within 28-25 before ONU settled for a 35-28 lead at halftime.
The lead bounced between four and nine points in the third quarter until a pair of free throws by the Cardinals trimmed the ONU lead to 46-43 at the end of the period.
Northern started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to go up 53-43 with 8:29 to play, but again OU rallied.
An Ali Cartnal 3-pointer made it 57-55 with 5:41 to go and a basket by Dani Kissel pulled the hosts within 60-59 with 4:12 remaining.
The lead was 65-62 when senior Brooke Espenschied nailed a 3-pointer with 1:22 to put the Polar Bears on top 68-62.
Otterbein would not get closer than three points the rest of the way as ONU made four consecutive free throws in the final minute to ice the game.
Kissell scored 19 points and Cartnal added 15 points for OU.
The Polar Bears made 26-of-58 field goal attempts for 44.8 percent, while Otterbein made 27-of-64 field goal attempts for 42.2 percent.
ONU out-rebounded OU 43-30.
The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday at 3 pm when they play host to John Carroll at the ONU Sports Center.