DELAWARE, Ohio - Mount Union's women's basketball team defeated Ohio Wesleyan in their season opener 89-74 Tuesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
The Purple Raiders (1-0) were led by junior Elena Rauhe (Seven Hills / Padua Franciscan), who scored a career-high 28 points, shooting 10-of-18 from the field with five three-pointers. Also scoring in double-digits was senior Tori Rappach (Warren / Howland) with 27, one point shy of her career-high as she hit five three's.
Ohio Wesleyan (0-1) got 21 points from Cierra Joiner.
The Bishops started the game with an 11-7 run, but two foul shots by sophomore Isi Palamone (Murrysville, Pa. / Franklin Regional) brought the Raiders back within two points, 11-9. The Bishops extended their lead 19-13. With a layup from sophomore Hailey Peoples-O'Neil (Geneva) and a three pointer by Rappach, the Raiders closed the gap within one point 19-18. Ohio Wesleyan and Mount Union then went basket for basket, until another three-pointer by Rappach with 33 seconds left that tied the game at 26-26 after a quarter.
Mount Union grabbed a 28-26 lead on a quick jumper from junior Brianna Gassman (Minerva) to start the second quarter. Ohio Wesleyan then went on a 9-3 run to regain control 35-31. The Raiders rallied again with a 13-5 surge to take a 44-38 lead into halftime.
The Raiders scored the first eight points of the third quarter with lay-ups from Peoples-O'Neil and Rappach, a foul shot by junior Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake), and a three pointer from junior Sarah Turley (Sagamore Hills / Nordonia) to push their lead to 12 points. Mount Union's tremendous defensive effort only allowed the Bishops to score six points and the Raiders ended the third quarter with a 60-44 lead.
Mount Union's momentum carried over to the fourth quarter striking first once again with a layup from Rauhe to make the lead 62-44. Ohio Wesleyan then went on a 16-11 run to cut the lead to 13, but it wouldn't be enough. A Corenna Maynard (Chagrin Falls / Kenston) three-pointer and a Rauhe layup put the Raiders back up by 18 and Mount Union went on to the 89-74 victory.
The Raiders continue play at the Nan Nichols Classic Saturday, Nov. 16 as they take on Oberlin at 1 p.m. at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.