Women's Basketball Rallies To Down Northwood, 72-68

Women's Basketball Rallies To Down Northwood, 72-68

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team held Northwood to three points over the final 5:04 of the game to take a 72-68 win in GLIAC play from Alumni Hall on Saturday.

The Panthers (10-5, 5-3 GLIAC) trailed 65-61 at that 5:04 mark, but tied it up on four free throws from seniors Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) and Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio). Rittinger then sank a baseline jumper on a find from classmate Tori Beth Leader (West Portsmouth, Ohio), and two more free throws by Bates gave ODU a 69-65 lead with 2:42 left.

Northwood (6-6, 3-4 GLIAC) closed to within 69-68 with 1:45 to play, but neither side could convert from the field over their next several possessions. The Timberwolves had the ball with less than 30 seconds to play, still down one, but junior Megan Eyre (Fayetteville, Ohio) came away with a steal near midcourt and drew a foul, hitting both free throws to bump the lead to 71-68 with 23.9 seconds left.

Northwood then missed two shots, and Rittinger came away with a deflected pass, leading to one more free throw from Eyre with exactly one second left to seal the win.

Rittinger finished with a season-best 22 points, four blocks, four rebounds and three assists for the Panthers, going a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line. Bates chipped in with 10 points and five boards, junior Sarah Futscher (Wilder, Ky.) tallied nine points with five rebounds, and Eyre scored eight points with six rebounds.

Overall, ODU finished 26-of-27 at the stripe, and hit its first 25 free throws of the game. The 96.3 percent mark at the line is ODU's best percentage in a game in which made at least 25 free throws dating back to the 1999-2000 season.

That helped offset ODU shooting just 36.2 percent from the field and being outrebounded 39-35. The Panthers did commit just 11 turnovers, its second fewest in a game, and the Panther bench outscored Northwood 23-11.

ODU led 19-13 at the end of the first quarter and led by as many as nine points (24-15) after senior Kayla Cook (Westerville, Ohio) buried a three and made a driving layup on consecutive possessions in the second. The Timberwolves answered with a 13-3 run, though, and took a 35-33 lead into the locker room.

Northwood, which sank 6-of-7 threes in the first half, stayed hot from behind the arc to start the third quarter, grabbing a 49-40 edge at the midway mark of the period, before ODU answered. A 9-2 Panther run, which featured five points from Leader, closed the gap to 51-49 with 2:19 to play in the period, and ODU trailed 55-53 heading to the final period. ODU's bench scored 14 of its 20 points in the quarter to keep the Panthers in it.

The Panthers have won three straight games, all coming by four points or fewer, and their last four wins have all been less than four points.

Ohio Dominican travels to No. 1 Ashland for a 5:30 p.m. contest on Thursday.

Contact: Scott Miles

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