WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team could not hold off the Otterbein University Cardinals, losing 52-48 in Ohio Athletic Conference action inside the Rike Center.
Junior Academic All-OAC forward Rachel Womeldorf (Lewis Center/Olentangy) led BW (12-9, 8-6 OAC) as the sole Yellow Jacket in double figures with 10 points.
Otterbein (13-8, 9-5 OAC) had two players hit double digits, led by senior forward Kiersten Taylor with a game-high 15 points. Junior guard Ali Cartnal contributed 10 points of her own.
Otterbein held the Yellow Jackets scoreless for the first 3:12 of the game as the Yellow Jackets struggled to get the offense going. Womeldorf got her team on the scoreboard with four consecutive points as BW trailed 7-4 with 5:58 left in the quarter. The Yellow Jackets had cut the Cardinal lead down to 11-9 at the 2:10 mark but Otterbein finished the period on a 6-2 run and led 15-11.
Junior All-OAC guard Hannah Fecht (Hilliard/Davidson) opened up the second quarter with a layup and brought BW within two points of the lead, 15-13, but Otterbein quickly answered with a layup of its own. For most of the period, the Cardinals and the Yellow Jackets traded baskets until BW used a small 4-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 21-19 with 5:10 remaining in the half. The Cardinals countered with their own 4-0 run to retake the lead at the 1:51 mark but sophomore guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Akron Archbishop Hoban) made a layup to tie the game at 23-23 heading into halftime.
After going 1-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, Marshall and Fecht each nailed three-pointers as BW took a 29-24 lead with 8:10 left in the third quarter. Otterbein quickly tied the game at 29-29 at the 6:27 mark before both team's defenses locked down and did not allow a basket for almost four minutes of play. The Cardinals retook the lead with just under one minute remaining in the quarter and again when Cartnal made a layup at the buzzer as Otterbein had a 35-33 lead going into the final period.
Both teams traded baskets to start the fourth quarter but Otterbein was able to build up to a five-point, 44-39 lead with 4:41 left in the game. Sophomore guard Tiffany Bentler (North Canton/Hoover) came down the floor and hit a three-pointer to bring BW within two points of the lead at 44-42. The Cardinals used were clutch from the free throw line down the stretch, going 10-for-12 and 13-for-16 in the period, and held on for a 52-48 victory.
With the loss, BW falls into a tie for fourth place in the OAC along with the University of Mount Union and Capital University with four games left on the schedule. Otterbein now moves up into sole possession of third place with the win.
BW will host OAC and crosstown rival John Carroll University on Wednesday, February 7, in the Play4Kay Game at 7:30 p.m. inside Ursprung Gymnasium. To check out the team's Play4Kay fundraising page, please follow the link HERE.