ADA, Ohio – Mount Union's women's basketball team defeated Ohio Northern, 59-57, in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Saturday at the ONU Sports Center.
The Purple Raiders (14-5, 7-5 OAC) snap a three-game losing streak as they were led by the backcourt duo of senior Rachel Tinkey (Canfield) and Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) who each scored 14 points. Sophomore forward Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake) was atop of the group with six rebounds while senior guard Anna Alkire (Massillon/Jackson) collected three steals.
Ohio Northern was led by Jenna Dirksen's 12 points as they fall to 11-8 overall and 5-7 in the OAC.
The first quarter saw slow starts by both squads until Mount Union was able to take a 4-0 lead on a pair of jumpers by Tinkey and Jaime Sanborn (Twinsburg). Tinkey's second basket of the quarter supplied four of Mount Union's 12 points as they led Ohio Northern 12-9 heading into the second.
Ohio Northern sunk a three for the first bucket of the second quarter to tie the score at 12-12. Rappach answered with a three of her own, reclaiming Mount Union's three-point lead. The remaining seven and a half minutes involved six leads changes as balanced scoring for Ohio Northern would put them ahead of the Raider at halftime, 27-25.
Third quarter, Ohio Northern went on a 11-7 run fueled by Dirksen and Emily Mescher to claim the largest lead of the, by either team, at 38-32 with a little over five minutes remaining. The Raiders responded with seven unanswered points to go ahead one at 39-38 with 1:58 on the clock. Mount Union and Ohio Northern matched baskets in the final few possessions to tie again at 43-all.
After trailing 47-43 after four minutes, the Raiders got on the board in the fourth quarter with a famous Rappach-three and cut the deficit to 47-46 at 6:14. Dirksen pushed the offense for the Polar Bears with a personal 6-0 run, putting Ohio Northern back on top, 53-48. Rappach continued to fire from behind the arc and nail consecutive three's to tie Ohio Northern once again, this time at 55-55 with just 1:54 to go. Next possession, Sanborn stripped the ball at midcourt from Ohio Northern's Abby Weeks for a fast break layup and for the lead, 57-55. Ohio Northern looked to push the game into overtime as Alyssa Manley quickly got a shot off to knot it up at 57-57 with eleven seconds remaining until Tinkey's step-back jumper at 0:01.4 would seal the win for the Raiders, 59-57.
Mount Union returns home to host OAC opponent Muskingum in their Play4Kay Cancer Research Game Wednesday, January 30 at 7 p.m.