BEREA, Ohio – The second-seeded Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team fell to seventh-seeded Ohio Northern University 70-53 in an Ohio Athletic Conference quarterfinal game inside Ursprung Gymnasium.
Sophomore forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) was the sole double-digit scorer for the Yellow Jackets (19-7) with 11 points. Diedrich and sophomore guard Gabby Garrett (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) tied with a team-high five rebounds.
Senior guard Jenna Dirksen led Ohio Northern (14-12) with a game-high 22 points. Junior center Emily Mescher added 12 points while junior guard Abby Weeks and senior guard Alyssa Manley each chipped in 11 points apiece.
After BW opened up the game on a 7-2 run, Ohio Northern was able to force some Yellow Jacket turnovers to create offense on the other end of the floor. A 6-0 run in a 1:25 span gave the Polar Bears a 12-11 advantage before both teams began to trade field goals and one-point leads. Junior Academic All-OAC guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro) then drilled a three-pointer to close out the period for an 18-14 BW lead.
Ohio Northern tied the game at 18-18 with 8:37 remaining in the second quarter but senior Academic All-OAC forward Rachel Womeldorf (Lewis Center/Olentangy) stepped into her fourth three-pointer of the season to put her team back in front. The Polar Bears continued to answer basket for basket, however, until freshman forward Lilly Edwards (Dublin/Coffman) used her range to hit back-to-back jumpers for a 26-20 BW lead. Ohio Northern used a small 5-0 run to trim down the deficit but freshman guard Sydney Snyder (Kirtland) nailed three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to build up to a five-point Yellow Jacket lead at 32-27. Offensive rebounds and second-chance points brought the Polar Bears back within one point at the intermission, 32-31.
Edwards opened up the second half with a layup before three ties and three lead changes passed in a three-minute span. The three-point ball helped Ohio Northern out to its largest lead of the game, 43-38, before Garrett answered with a trey of her own in the corner. The Polar Bears closed on a 7-3 run, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 19-12 in the period, and led 50-44 when the third quarter buzzer sounded.
Both teams' offenses stalled to start the fourth quarter but Ohio Northern eked out four points to take its first double-digit lead of the game, one they would hold for most of the period. Meanwhile, the Polar Bears held BW scoreless until junior Academic All-OAC guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Archbishop Hoban) made a layup with 5:21 left on the clock. Diedrich followed with a layup of her own to cut the Ohio Northern lead down to eight points, 56-48, at the 4:33 mark. However, the Polar Bears were not fazed by the comeback attempt and finished off the game on a 14-5 run to seal the victory and a spot in the OAC Semifinals.