By Caleb Scott
ADA — Senior Amy Bullimore (Morrow/Little Miami) and sophomore Emily Mescher (Maria Stein/Marion Local) led the No. 10-ranked Ohio Northern women's basketball team to its 17th consecutive victory as Northern defeated Ohio Athletic Conference-foe Wilmington 71-48 on Wednesday evening at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 17-1 overall and stay perfect in the OAC at 11-0, while the Quakers drop to 9-9, 4-7.
Bullimore led the way offensively with a game-high 20 points and also pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds, while Mescher added 10 points and grabbed seven boards for Northern.
ONU has now won 27 straight regular season OAC contests dating back to the 2015-16 campaign, where it fell to No. 17-ranked Capital on Jan. 23, 2016.
With 12 rebounds this evening, Bullimore is now five rebounds shy of tying former ONU standout Robin Patterson ('81-'84) as ONU's all-time leading rebounder and needs just six boards to break the 34-year old record.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a 13-3 lead with 5:01 in the first quarter led by eight points from Bullimore and capped off by a 3-pointer from senior Alexis Kirkbride (Zanesville/Bishop Rosecrans).
A 3-pointer from junior Alyssa Manley (Lima/Bath) pushed the Polar Bear lead to 18-8 after the first quarter.
A jumper from Bullimore and a 3-pointer from junior Tori Wyss (Ada) just under a minute into the second quarter would push the lead 23-8 with 9:07 left in the second quarter.
After another good three point ball from Wyss pushed the ONU lead to 30-14 with 7:18 left in the second period, back-to-back steals and fast break layups from sophomore Abby Weeks (West Chester/Mount Notre Dame) would stifle a nearly 4-minute scoring drought to extend the lead to 34-14 with 3:27 left in the half.
The Polar Bears would hold a 38-21 advantage at the intermission.
Weeks would help ONU grab its largest lead of the evening at the 1:32 mark in the third quarter as Manley found her for a wide open 3-pointer to push the lead to 54-27.
The Quakers wouldn't threaten Northern the rest of the way as ONU went on to claim the victory.
The Northern defense forced 17 turnovers and capitalized on the WC mistakes, outscoring Wilmington 18-7 on points off turnovers.
ONU shot 28-of-68 (41.2 percent) from the field, including 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from the 3-point line, while the Quakers were 15-of-50 (30.0 percent) from the field, and 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) from 3-point range.
The Polar Bears won the battle on the glass by a 42-34 margin.
Northern will return to the court on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm as it travels to Bexley to take on Capital at Performance Arena.