It was an old-fashioned shootout between the Battling Bishops and Terriers Wednesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
Ohio Wesleyan, fueled by the scoring of junior wing Caroline Welker, senior post Tamra Landot and junior post LaNiece McRae, built a 40-25 lead with 4:04 remaining in the opening half in what turned into a scoring battle as the Bishops posted a 91-83 North Coast Athletic Conference victory over visiting Hiram.
“We got off to great start,” OWU head coach Stacey Ungashick Lobdell said after watching her club break the 90-point barrier for the second time this season. “Our players coming off the bench played a big role … and that’s the one thing as coaches that we have been looking for this season.”
The Bishops scored 93 points in a 93-58 win over Bethany back on Dec. 29.
Ohio Wesleyan (9-6, 4-2 NCAC) and Hiram (4-12, 0-7 NCAC) were deadlocked at 9-9 after the first 14:18 of play when the Bishops unleashed a 31-16 run to open up the 40-25 lead on Sarah McQuade’s layup with 4:04 left in the opening half. In the run, Welker collected 11 of her team-high 16 points, including a pair of treys, while Londot, who opened the game with back-to-back baskets, joined McNiece with a pair of field goals.
The Bishops and Terriers went into the intermission with OWU maintaining its 15-point advantage, 50-35, thanks to freshman guard Megan Kuether’s layin and 2 free throws in the final 2:34 of the half.
Ohio Wesleyan came back out and opened up an 18-point, 72-54 margin as LaNiece counted a rebound basket at the 12:48 mark of the second half. After the Bishops took their biggest lead of the contest, a 21-point, 88-67 advantage on freshman wing Kierstynn Myers’ 3-pointer, the Terriers would get no closer than 8 of the lead.
Fifteen players broke into the scoring column for Ohio Wesleyan with Welker leading the way with 16 points in 12 minutes of playing time. She was joined in double figures by freshman post Taylor Dickson and Landot with 11 points apiece. Myers, who joined Welker with three treys, finished with 9 points. Junior post Kristin Henning, McRae and Kuether had 6 points apiece. Kuether posted a team-high 5 assists while Welker came up with a team-leading 5 steals
“A lot of players contributed offensively as we had 15 players score,” Ungashick Lobdell said. “We ran our offense well, we shot the ball well and we limited our turnovers … I was very pleased with our overall effort.”
Ohio Wesleyan shot 51.5 percent (34-for-66) for the game, including converting 10 of 21 (47.6 percent) 3-point tries. The Bishops were 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) at the line. Sophomore post Emily Julius led the Bishops on the glass with 5 rebounds. Landot followed with 4 caroms. OWU turned the ball over 17 times in 77 possessions (22.1 percent), losing 19 points to the Terriers.
Hiram was led by junior guard Kelsey Koskinen, who led all scorers 22 points. Senior guard Danielle Day followed with 18 and sophomore forward Christy Griffin with 15 points. Freshman guard Dana Perrotta handed out 5 assists. Day pulled down a game-leading 9 rebounds as the Terriers gained a 43-31 rebounding advantage.
The Terriers were 31-for-63 from the field (39.2 percent), including 3-for-15 (20.0 percent) from behind the arc, and 18-for-31 at the line (59.1 percent). Day pulled down a game-leading 9 rebounds as Hiram gained a 43-31 rebounding advantage. The Terriers committed 25 turnovers in 76 possessions (32.9 percent), losing 23 points to the Bishops.
Ohio Wesleyan leads the all-time series, 27-4, over Hiram.