ALLIANCE, Ohio – Mount Union's women's basketball team opened Ohio Athletic Conference play with a 77-58 win over Ohio Northern (5-1, 0-1 OAC) Saturday at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.
The Purple Raiders (6-0, 1-0 OAC) were led by senior guard Rachel Tinkey (Canfield) and Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) who scored in double figures with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Senior guard Anna Alkire (Massillon/Jackson) dished out three assists with three steals and sophomore forward Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake) remained dominant on the boards, leading the team with six.
Ohio Northern was led by Jenna Dirksen's 11 points.
Start of the first quarter, Mount Union and Ohio Northern went up and down the court until the Raiders grabbed onto a brief 8-4 lead with under four minutes remaining. Ohio Northern came back to tie the game early at 11-11. In the final two minutes, Rappach and Tinkey combined for five quick points to reclaim their lead, 16-11.
Corenna Maynard (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) kept the offense going at the start of the second with a long range three, which was then replicated by Rappach and Tinkey to put Mount Union ahead by double digits and force an Ohio Northern timeout. Northern answered with a pair of three's and several trips to the line to cut the deficit back down to single digits at the break, Mount Union still ahead 35-28.
A quick opening score under the basket by Jaime Sanborn (Twinsburg) began the second half on an inside look by Alkire. Alkire then hustled in the full court press for steal and once again fed Sanborn under the rim, pushing Mount Union's lead back to double figures at 39-28 in just 40 seconds. Ohio Northern crept back in at 39-30 but the Raiders sparked a 22-11 run to close out the third quarter with their advantage now by 20 at 61-41. Collectively in the third quarter, Mount Union shot 62.5% from the field and 71.4% from three to outscore Ohio Northern 26-13.
Mount Union's lead held through the remainder of the fourth quarter and their defense continued to prevail, forcing five of Ohio Northern's 19 turnovers. Ohio Northern would outshoot and outscore Mount Union but it would not be enough. The Raiders take their conference opener 77-58, holding Ohio Northern to a season-low in points.
Continuing OAC action, Mount Union next travels to University Heights, Ohio to face John Carroll Wednesday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m.