By Blake Moore
WESTERVILLE — Senior guard Jenna Dirksen (Beavercreek/Carroll) became the 16th player in Ohio Northern women's basketball history to surpass the 1,000 career point threshold Wednesday evening in a 61-39 conference loss to Otterbein inside the Rike Center.
Dirksen entered Wednesday's contest needing just one point to join Ohio Northern's 1,000-Point Club. With 5:26 remaining in the opening quarter, she would knock down a three-pointer from the left wing to eclipse the milestone with 1,002 career points.
The senior finished with a team-high 10 points on three-for-nine shooting. She would add three rebounds and two steals during the conference contest.
With Wednesday's performance, Dirksen has 1,009 career points, which ranks 15th overall in program history.
"We are extremely proud of Jenna for scoring her 1,000th career point tonight," head coach Michele Durand stated following the game. "She has had an outstanding career and has been a valuable asset to our program over the past four seasons."
The Polar Bears also received six points from sophomore Emily Brock (Akron/Revere), who connected on two three-point field goals and tallied two steals.
The Cardinals had three individuals reach double-figure scoring in the contest, led by senior guard Dani Kissel with 19 points.
With the loss, Ohio Northern moves to 11-11 overall and 5-10 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Otterbein improved to 14-8 overall and to 10-5 in league play with the victory.
In the first quarter, the Cardinals raced out to an early 10-0 lead over the Polar Bears. Dirksen ended the game-opening run with her milestone basket, helping ONU cut the Otterbein lead to just three as the first quarter buzzer sounded.
Both offenses went cold in the second quarter, scoring just seven combined points in the period. However, Northern out-scored the Cardinals 4-3 and cut the halftime deficit to two points after holding Otterbein to one-for-twelve shooting.
Following the intermission, the two programs exchanged baskets and eventually drew even at 23-23 following a Kate Iliff (Lorain/Amherst Steele) jumper. From there, Otterbein closed the third frame on an 8-1 run to build a nine-point advantage headed to the final stanza.
ONU cut the lead to seven points on two occasions in the fourth quarter, but Otterbein began to pull away with a short, 5-0 burst midway through the frame. The Cardinals ensured the conference victory out-scoring Northern 27-14 in the final period.
As a team, Ohio Northern shot 28.6% from the floor and held a 32-30 advantage on the glass. Meanwhile, Otterbein finished the contest with a 35.2% shooting clip, including a 33.3% mark from beyond the arc.
The Polar Bears will return to action this Saturday when they host John Carroll at 3 p.m. inside the ONU Sports Center. The conference contest will serve as the program's annual Alumni Game.