Women's Basketball: Raiders Take #4 Hope to Limit in 54-52 Loss

Senior Casey Morrissette (Wakeman/Firelands) led Mount Union in scoring against Hope College with 13 points.
Senior Casey Morrissette (Wakeman/Firelands) led Mount Union in scoring against Hope College with 13 points.

BLUFFTON, Ohio – Mount Union's women's basketball team went toe-to-toe with the No. 4 ranked in nation for the game's first 39 minutes but Hope (Mich.) scored six of the final 10 points in the final minute to get a 54-52 win Friday at the 5th Annual McDonald's Holiday Tournament hosted by Bluffton University.

The Purple Raiders (4-6) were led by senior guard Casey Morrissette (Wakeman/Firelands) who recorded 13 points, four assists and three steals, sophomore guard Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) had 11 points while freshman forward Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake/Avon Lake) secured a career-high of nine rebounds.

Hope remained undefeated on the season at 11-0 as it got 21 points and 10 rebounds from Madison Geers.

The back and forth game featured 10 ties and eight lead changes.

Hope took an early 12-6 lead in the game's opening five minutes but the Raiders rallied with an 11-5 run to end the quarter -- the final five of those points by Zanny Sauter (Avon/Avon) as Mount Union led 17-15 after one quarter.

The second quarter featured four ties and three leads changes but the Dutch got the final four points of the frame and led 27-24 at the half.

Four more lead changes and two more ties headlined the third quarter while the Raiders late in the quarter got back-to-back three-pointers from Morrissette and Rappach to give Mount Union its largest lead of the game 40-36. Hope hit two free throws at the end of the third quarter and it sparked a 12-0 run that turned the game back in favor of the Dutch, 48-40, with just under five minutes to play.

Mount Union rallied again with an 8-0 surge capped off by a Hessel tip-in to tie the game at 48 with 48 seconds to play.

Hope retook the lead for the good on the next possession when Lauren Newman made 1-of-2 from the line and after a missed Raider basket, Geers scored on a layup to increase the lead to 51-48.

Mount Union returns to the tournament to play Alma (Mich.) Saturday at noon.