By Tim Glon
NEW CONCORD — The No. 6-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team clinched at least a share of the Ohio Athletic Conference Regular Season title with an 86-78 victory at Muskingum on Saturday at the Steele Center.
The Polar Bears stay undefeated on the season at 21-0 overall and improve to 14-0 in the OAC.
Northern also clinched the No. 1 seed (and the double-bye that comes with it) in the OAC Tournament. ONU has a 4-game lead over Wilmington (10-4) and Baldwin Wallace (10-4) with four games left in the regular season and holds the tiebreaker over both schools.
The Muskies fall to 10-11, 6-8.
Junior Lindsey Black (Urbana/Graham) added 14 points, freshman Abby Weeks (Cincinnati/Mount Notre Dame) had a career-high 12 points and junior Courtney Cramer (Arcadia) chipped in 10 points for the Polar Bears.
Muskingum was led by Hallie Stocker with 17 points.
Dirksen nailed a 3-pointer with 1:40 left in the game to snap a 72-all tie and give ONU a 75-72 advantage.
Black scored with 37 seconds left, but Olivia Besancon answered for the Muskies and Northern's lead was 77-76 with 30 seconds to play.
The Polar Bears would make 9-of-10 free throws in the final 25 seconds to put the game away.
Northern led 49-42 after three quarters of play and the two teams would combine for 75 points in the fourth quarter.
Ohio Northern made 29-of-61 field goal attempts for 47.5 percent and were 9-of-17 from 3-point range for 52.9 percent, while Muskingum was 25-of-62 from the floor for 40.3 percent and was 10-of-30 from beyond the 3-point arc for 33.3 percent.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Wednesday with a 7:30 pm contest at Heidelberg.