By Caleb Scott
SPRINGFIELD — Junior Jenna Dirksen (Beavercreek/Carroll) was named the tournament Most Valuable Player as she led the No. 14-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team to a 63-43 victory over Wittenberg on Saturday afternoon in the championship game of the Kiwanis Holiday Classic at Pam Evans Smith Arena.
The Polar Bears improve to 10-1 overall, while the Tigers drop to 7-7 on the season.
Dirksen and senior Lindsey Black (Urbana/Graham) were each named to the All-Tournament team for Ohio Northern.
Dirksen scored a team-best 13 points to lead the Polar Bears and added five rebounds and two assists.
Senior Amy Bullimore (Morrow/Little Miami) registered her second consecutive double-double, scoring 10 points and adding a game-high 10 rebounds.
Bullimore moved into sixth place all-time on ONU's scoring list in the victory as she recorded her 1,157th career point.
On the first possession of the game, Dirksen woud find senior Courtney Cramer (Arcadia) for a 3-pointer to give ONU a 3-0 lead just 16 seconds into the contest.
A jumper from Black and a layup from Bullimore helped the Polar Bears jump out to a 7-0 lead before the Tigers scored five straight points to cut the deficit to 7-5.
From there, an 8-1 run capped off by a 3-pointer from junior Alyssa Manley (Lima/Bath) gave ONU a 15-6 lead after the first quarter.
After each team exchanged 3-pointers to open the second quarter, freshman Emily Brock (Akron/Revere) hit a three pointer to spark a 7-0 run and help ONU grab its biggest lead of the first half at 25-9 with 5:25 remaining in the first half.
A Manley three pointer with 44 seconds remaining in the half would push the lead to 30-16 at the intermission.
Wittenberg would pull within 41-25 in the third quarter, before Black used a personal 6-0 run to extend the lead to 47-25 with 50 seconds remaining the third period.
The Polar Bears opened their biggest lead of the afternoon with 6:40 remaining in the contest after junior Tori Wyss (Ada) sank a pair of free throws to give ONU a 55-30 advantage.
WU wouldn't threaten ONU the rest of the way as Northern went on the claim to contest 63-43.
ONU shot 24-of-65 (36.9 percent) from the field, including 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from three point range, while the Tigers shot 16-of-57 (28.1 percent) from the field, including 4-of-21 (19.0 percent) from the 3-point line.
Northern won the rebounding battle by a 45-39 margin.
The Polar Bears return to action on Wednesday evening as they travel to Westerville to take on Otterbein in Ohio Athletic Conference action at 7:30 pm.