Women's Basketball: Second Half Comeback Lifts Raiders Over Wilmington

Zanny Sauter (Photo by: Harouna Ndongo)
Zanny Sauter (Photo by: Harouna Ndongo)

ALLIANCE, Ohio - The Mount Union women's basketball team defeated Wilmington 79-77 in an Ohio Athletic Conference match-up Saturday afternoon at Timken Gymnasium.

The Purple Raiders (10-7, 4-6 OAC) were led by senior Zanny Sauter (Avon) with a career-high 19 points,  junior Elena Rauhe added 15 poins and four assists, and sophomore Hailey Peoples-O'Neil contributed with 13 points and five rebounds. 

McKayla Binkley led the Quakers (9-8, 5-5 OAC) with a game-high 33 points and nine rebounds. 

Sauter hit a three pointer at the 8:59 mark to give the Raiders their first lead 3-1. Both teams went basket for basket tying the game 6-6. The Quakers went on a 6-2 run regaining the lead 12-8. Sophomore Layni Ziegler (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Seton LaSalle) scored four straight points to tie the game back up 12-12. Wilmington continued to go on an 8-2 run, taking the advantage 20-14. The Raiders would chip away at the Quakers lead, cutting it down to two points with 1:18 remaining, but Wilmington finished the quarter with a 5-0 run to make the score 25-18.

Sauter opened the second quarter scoring four straight points to spark an 11-5 surge to bring Mount Union back within one, 30-29. The Quakers bounced back and ended the quarter with a 17-4 run to widen their lead 47-33 to head into halftime. 

Freshman Madison Hensley (Blacklick / Gahanna Lincoln) scored the first six points of the quarter to bring Mount Union back within eights points, 39-47. Wilmington responded with an 8-2 surge to extend their lead to 55-41. Sauter hit a three-pointer with 5:01 remaining to ignite 19-6 run with baskets from junior Isi Palamone (Murrysville, Pa. / Franklin Regional), Rauhe, Ziegler, and sophomore Corenna Maynard (Chagrin Falls / Kenston). The Raiders entered the fourth and final quarter down one point, 61-60.

Peoples-O'Neil hit a lay-up and a foul shot at the 8:45 mark to give Mount Union their first lead since the first quarter, 63-61. The Quakers quickly regained the lead with an 11-2 run with 5:06 remaining in the game. Palamone hit a lay-up that sparked a 10-5 run to tie the game at 75-75 with 1:42 left in regulation. Wilmington took the lead in the next possesion, but Rauhe would tie the game once again, 77-77 with 50 seconds left. Maynard recorded a steal that lead to Peoples-O'Neill hitting the final shot with six seconds left, ultimately giving the Raiders the 79-77 win. 

The Raiders continue OAC play Wednesday, Jan. 29 as they travel to University Heights, Ohio to take on John Carroll at 7 p.m.