By Bud Denega
ADA — The Ohio Northern women's basketball team received extremely strong play from its bench Saturday against John Carroll. The Polar Bears claimed a 62-55 victory, as their bench outscored the Blue Streaks' 41-0 inside the ONU Sports Center
"They were outstanding," ONU head coach Michele Brand said. "We pride ourselves on being able to play 10 girls. I don't get focused on who starts or who comes off the bench, but (the bench) did a really great job tonight. They really helped us out."
Freshman Brynn Serbin (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) poured in a career-high 13 points,
which included a trio of 3-pointers. She also added three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Polar Bears connected on 45.5 percent (25 of 55) of their field-goal attempts and 33.3 percent (8 of 24) of their shots from beyond the 3-point arc. The Blue Streaks made 38.9 percent (21 of 54) of their shots from the floor and 34.5 percent (10 of 29) of their attempts from 3-point land.
ONU won the rebounding battle 34-30. John Carroll's Dani Carlson led all scorers with 23 points, which included seven treys.
The win improved Northern to 9-2 on the season and 3-1 in OAC play and was its third consecutive victory. The loss dropped the Blue Streaks to 9-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play and snapped their seven-game win streak.
"I can't be prouder of (our team)," Durand said. "We made a lot of mistakes, but we played really, really tough. (John Carroll) isn't just pretty good, but they're really good. Their starting five is outstanding."
The game was tied 51-51 with just over five minutes to play in the game. The Blue Streaks held a brief 53-51 edge before Serbin canned a 3 to put her team up 54-53 with 4:08 left.
Serbin buried another trey less than two minutes later and Hale made one of her own, essentially sealing the game with 1:15 to play.
John Carroll built an 18-15 lead after the first quarter. The Blue Streaks extended their advantage to 28-17 on a layup from Nicole Heffington at the 5:44 mark of the second quarter.
The Polar Bears wouldn't allow John Carroll to score again until just 36 seconds remained in the opening half. In the meantime, ONU tallied 17 straight points, as five different Polar Bears scored a point led by Serbin's six.
Sophomore Kate Iliff (Lorain/Amherst Steele) gave Northern its first double-digit lead of the game on a bucket with 1:05 to play in the third period. The Polar Bear settled for a 49-42 advantage ahead of the final quarter.
The Polar Bears remain at home, playing host to Heidelberg Wednesday at 7 p.m.