By Caleb Scott
SPRINGFIELD — Senior Amy Bullimore (Morrow/Little Miami) recorded her fifth double-double of the season to lead the No. 14-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team to a 67-60 victory over Hanover (Ind.) in the opening round of the Kiwanis Holdiay Classic on Friday afternoon.
The Polar Bears improve to 9-1 on the year after posting their ninth consecutive victory, while the Panthers drop to 6-4.
Bullimore tallied a game-high 21 points and added a game-best 15 rebounds to lead the way for ONU.
With 15 rebounds this afternoon, Bullimore moves into fourth place all-time at Ohio Northern with 712 career rebounds.
ONU got off to a fast start after two layups from Bullimore and a 3-pointer from Dirksen gave Northern a quick 7-0 lead just over a minute into the contest.
Trailing 17-9 following a layup from ONU sophomore Abby Weeks (West Chester/Mount Notre Dame), Hanover would hit a 3-pointer to end the first quarter and pull within 17-12.
The Panthers would get their first lead of the evening at the 4:33 mark of the second quarter after a layup put them ahead 24-22.
The two teams would exchange multiple buckets before Manley nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to end the half, including a buzzer beater after senior Alexis Kirkbride (Zanesville/Bishop Rosecrans) found her to give ONU a 36-31 edge at the intermission.
A pair of Bullimore free throws with 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter gave ONU its biggest lead of the evening at 55-45 before HC hit a jumper to cut the deficit to eight points heading into the final period.
The Panthers would score the first four points of the fourth quarter to cut into the Polar Bear lead before a three pointer from senior Courtney Cramer (Arcadia) would end the Hanover run and push the ONU lead to 58-51 with 6:20 left in the game.
Hanover closed the gap to 63-60 with 52 seconds remaining in the contest before Bullimore and senior Lindsey Black (Urbana/Graham) went 4-for-4 from the free throw line to seal the victory.
Northern shot 25-of-68 (36.8 percent) from the field, including 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) from the 3-point line, while Hanover was 21-of-57 (36.8 percent) from the field, including 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) from three point range.
The Polar Bears won the battle on the glass, out-rebounding the Panthers by a 47-36 margin.
ONU will return to action on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm as it takes on the winner of the Wittenberg and Susquehanna (Pa.) contest in the championship round of the Kiwanis Holiday Classic.