By Bud Denega
MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The Ohio Northern women's basketball team used a big fourth quarter to topple No. 17-ranked Wisconsin-Oshkosh 62-56 Saturday to conclude play at the Wisconsin Lutheran PFK Classic.
The victory improved the Polar Bears to 3-0 on the season, while the loss dropped the Titans to 2-2.
Northern trailed 43-40 heading into the game's final quarter. Wisconsin-Oshkosh extended its lead to 56-50 with just 2:40 left, but from then on out, it was all Polar Bears.
Sophomore Jaidyn Hale (Lima/Bath) got the run started with a 3-pointer at the 2:11 mark. Senior Emily Mescher (Maria Stein/Marion Local) converted a layup on the very next possession, which pulled Northern to within one at 56-55.
Sophomore Lexi Jacobs (Wapakoneta) put ONU ahead on a jumper with 47 seconds to play. The Polar Bears put the game on ice, making six consecutive free throws to finish the game.
Hale led the way for Northern with a team-high 17 points. She came off the bench and was a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line with two assists.
Mescher added 14 points and five rebounds. Jacobs rounded out ONU's double-digit scorers with 12 points.
ONU shot 40.4 percent (19 of 47) from the floor and 36.4 percent (8 of 22) from deep. The Spartans made just 34.6 percent (18 of 52) of their field-goal attempts and 27.3 percent (9 of 33) from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Polar Bears won the battle on the glass, out-rebounding Wisconsin-Oshkosh 35-30.
The Titans jumped out to the early 16-13 advantage at the end of the first frame. Northern locked down defensively — only surrendering seven second-quarter points — to take a 26-23 edge into the halftime locker room. The Polar Bears relinquished their lead in the third period, but that set the stage for an impressive final 10 minutes.
Mescher was named to the Wisconsin Lutheran PFK Classic All-Tournament Team.
ONU stays on the road and travels to Defiance Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. before playing its first home game Dec. 7 against Mount Union.