By Caleb Scott
ADA -- Junior Amy Bullimore (Morrow/Little Miami) posted a monster double-double as she scored 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the No. 5-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team into the Elite 8 round with a 72-55 victory over No. 20-ranked SUNY Geneseo on Saturday evening at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears move to 30-0, while the Knights end their season at 28-2.
Northern advances to its first Elite 8 contest in school history and will host No. 15 Christopher Newport (Va.) on Saturday evening.
Bullimore added a game-high four blocks to lead ONU defensively.
"We got fired up in the locker room and came out ready to play," said Bullimore. "We didn't want this to be our last game. I knew my teammates had my back and i just tried to play my game."
Sophomore Tori Wyss (Ada) scored a career-high 10 points off the bench for Northern, while senior Britt Lauck (Lima/Shawnee) and sophomore Jenna Dirksen (Beavercreek/Carroll) chipped in nine points each.
ONU got off to a strong start as it opened the game on a 21-0 run behind six points from Bullimore.
Geneseo hit two free throws with a minute left before layups from Bullimore and Dirksen gave Northern a 25-2 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Knights were able to gain some ground in the second quarter after Sara Ciotti hit a 3-pointer to just over a minute into the period.
Dirksen wasted no time in answering back as she drilled a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession off an assist from junior Cheyenne Raker (Columbus/Westerville South).
From there, the Polar Bears would close the half out of a 16-8 run to take a commanding 46-15 lead into the locker room.
The Knights found life in the third quarter as they opened the period up on an 8-2 run to close the gap to 48-23 with 5:36 left in the period.
After leading by as many as 31 late in the second quarter, the Polar Bears would see their lead shrink to 13 points as a layup by McKenna Brooks cut the lead to 68-55 with 1:46 remaining in the contest.
From there, Lauck would hit two free throws and a layup by junior Courtney Cramer (Arcadia) would seal the 72-55 victory.
The Polar Bears shot 29-of-62 (46.8 percent) from the field, while the Knights were 21-of-60 (35.0 percent) from the field.
ONU won the rebounding battle by a 43-30 margin.
"We are just really happy to be where we are," said head coach Michele Durand. "We talked about starting better and that was huge for us tonight. We knew they would come back in the second half because they are a very good team."
Northern returns to the ONU Sports Center on Saturday evening as it hosts No. 15-ranked Christopher Newport (Va.) at 8 pm.