By Caleb Scott
ADA — The No. 17-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team stayed perfect on the season as they defeated Westfield State (Mass.) 82-65 Friday evening in Nashville, Tenn., during the second day of the Music City Classic.
The Polar Bears move to 11-0 overall, while the Owls drop to 6-6 on the season.
Sophomore Jenna Dirksen (Beavercreek/Carroll) poured in a career-high 21 points and pulled down a game and career-high eight rebounds to lead Northern.
Junior Cheyenne Raker (Columbus/Westerville South) added a career-best 16 points, including shooting a perfect 8-of-8 from the field.
Northern grabbed an early 13-0 lead in the first quarter as Dirksen scored eight early points and a 3-pointer from junior Courtney Cramer (Arcadia) forced a WSU timeout with 7:04 left in the first quarter.
After Westfield State scored the next six points, ONU would use a 7-0 run capped off by a jumper from junior Lindsey Black (Urbana/Graham) to extend the lead to 20-6 with 3:08 left in the first quarter.
The Polar Bears grabbed a 24-9 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter, before the Owls used a 10-0 run into the second quarter to close the gap to 24-19 with 9:03 left in the second quarter.
After WSU climbed within six points midway through the second quarter, ONU used a quick 8-0 run capped off by a layup from freshman Emily Mescher (Maria Stein/Marion Local) to grab a 38-24 lead with 2:20 remaining in the half.
After a layup from WSU closed the Polar Bear lead to 53-38 with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter, Northern used a quick 5-0 spurt capped off by a layup from senior Amauria Campbell (Cincinnati/Summit Country Day) to open a 20-point advantage with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
The Polar Bears would open up their biggest lead of the contest as Raker made a layup with 2:20 left in the contest to push the lead to 81-58.
Northern shot 32-of-57 (56.1 percent) from the field, including 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from the 3-point line.
The Polar Bears outrebounded the Owls 51-29 during the contest.
Northern will return to action Jan. 4, as they welcome Otterbein to the ONU Sports Center and take on the Cardinals at 7:30 pm.