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No. 12 Women’s Basketball Clinches OAC Regular Season Title with Victory Over Mount Union

BW wins OAC Regular Season Title (Photo Courtesy of Hailey Owens)
BW wins OAC Regular Season Title (Photo Courtesy of Hailey Owens)

BEREA, Ohio – The No. 12 nationally-ranked Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team clinched the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season title with a 27-point victory over the University of Mount Union in the Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center.

BW (22-2, 16-1 OAC), who clinches its ninth OAC regular season title and its firsrt since 2014, will enter next week's OAC Tournament as the top seed.   The Yellow Jackets improved to 51-23 in the all-time series with Mount Union (14-10, 8-9 OAC) and have won the last five contests.

BW had four players score in double figures led by senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Riley Schill (Sheffield Village/Elyria Catholic) as she scored a game-high 19 points and dished out a game-best five assists. Sophomore All-OAC forward Lilly Edwards (Dublin/Coffman) came off the bench to score 13 points and grab six rebounds.  Sophomore guard Megan Hensel (Upper Sandusky) also came off the bench and contributed 12 points and six rebounds. Senior All-OAC guard/forward Hannah Fecht (Hilliard/Davidson) added 10 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

The Purple Raiders were led by junior forward Bri Gassman as she scored 10 points.

Mount Union came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter as it took a commanding 19-9 lead on a layup by Gassman at the 2:04 mark.   The Yellow Jackets scored the last point of the period when Edwards split a pair from the charity stripe with 1:09 remaining.

In the second quarter, BW came out on fire as it used a 14-4 run to take a 24-23 lead on a layup by Edwards at the 7:03 mark.  The Purple Raiders responded with a 6-2 run of their own to take a 29-26 lead on a Rauhe layup at 5:28.  The Yellow Jackets answered back with an 8-0 run to take a 34-29 lead on a layup from Hensel at the 1:48 mark.   Mount Union got the final points of the opening half just 14 seconds later when junior guard Elena Rauhe knocked down a jumper to cut the lead down to 34-31.

BW continued its hot shooting as it went on a 20-4 run to open the third quarter and it extends its lead to 54-35 on a layup by senior Academic All-OAC forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Akron Archbishop Hoban) at the 4:13 mark.  After a Purple Raider three-pointer, the Yellow Jackets went on a 4-0 run to take a 58-38 lead when junior guard Gabby Garrett (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) hit both free throws with 1:09 remaining.   Mount Union got the final points of the quarter to cut the lead down to 58-41 when junior forward Sarah Hessel converted the traditional three-point play with 41 seconds.

The Purple Raiders opened the final quarter of action on a 4-2 run to cut the lead down to 60-45 on a jumper by Hessel at the 7:13 mark.   BW responded with a 20-2 run to push its lead to 80-47 on four straight free throws from sophomore guard Emily Lyon (Medina/Highland) with the last coming at 2:34.  Mount Union closed the game by scoring the final six points.

The Yellow Jackets aree back in action on Saturday, February 22 when they travels to Westerville for a regular season finale and OAC game against Otterbein University at 3 p.m.

The OAC Tournament Quarterfinals will be contested on the campuses of the highest seeds on Tuesday, February 25 at 7 p.m.   The semifinals will be played on Thursday, February 27 on the campuses of the highest remaining seeds at 7 p.m.  The championship game will be on Saturday, February 29 at the highest remaining seed at 2 p.m.