By Caleb Scott
ADA — Senior Alexis Kirkbride (Zanesville/Bishop Rosecrans) poured in a career-best 15 points as the No. 15-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team powered past Capital 64-38 in its Ohio Athletic Conference opener on Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.
With their fifth consecutive victory, the Polar Bears improve to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the OAC, while the Crusaders drop to 2-3, 0-1.
Kirkbride was a blistering 5-for-6 from the 3-point line, tallying a career-high 15 points to lead the Polar Bears offensively.
Senior Amy Bullimore (Morrow/Little Miami) posted her third double-double in the last four games with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The senior also added a game-best four blocks.
Senior Lindsey Black (Urbana/Graham) added 10 points for the Polar Bears.
After Capital tied the contest at 10-all in the first quarter, a Crusader turnover led to an ONU layup as Black found sophomore Abby Weeks (West Chester/Mount Notre Dame) who scored and gave ONU a 12-10 lead after the first quarter.
Black sparked an 8-0 run to start the second quarter as she completed an and-1 with a free throw before Kirkbride drilled a three pointer to force a CU timeout with the Polar Bears leading 20-10 with 8:26 remaining in the half.
On the ensuing possession, Capital hit a jumper before a quick 7-0 spurt capped by a 3-pointer from Kirkbride forced another Capital timeout with Northern leading 27-12 with just under six minutes remaining in the half.
The Polar Bears would hold a 36-21 advantage at the intermission.
Northern would outscore the Crusaders 10-5 in a low scoring third quarter as ONU took a 46-26 lead into the final period of play.
Northern's biggest lead of the afternoon came with 1:58 remaining in the contest as senior Cheyenne Raker (Columbus/Westerville South) hit a layup to push the lead to 62-34.
The Polar Bears were 24-of-57 (42.1 percent) from the field, including an impressive 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from the 3-point line, while the Crusaders 17-of-54 for 31.5 percent from the field and 2-of-12 from the 3-point mark for 16.7 percent.
Northern won the battle on the glass by a 39-32 margin.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm as they travel to Wilmington to take on the Quakers.