It was a tale of two halves last Saturday as the John Carroll women’s basketball team dropped their fourth consecutive contest, falling 63-46 to Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.
With the loss and a Muskingum victory over Heidelberg on Saturday afternoon, the Blue Streaks fall into a tie with the Fighting Muskies for eighth place in the Ohio Athletic Conference, which is the lowest a team can finish in order to be eligible for the postseason OAC tournament.
The Blue Streaks (6-12, 3-9 OAC) were paced by sophomore standout Missy Spahar, who had a team-high 20 points and five rebounds. Her performance marks the 10th time in her career she has finished with 20 or more points in a single game. Spahar is also in the top three in the OAC in both points and rebounds per game.
As a team, the Blue Streaks remained competitive throughout the first half. A layup by freshman Meghan Weber at the nine minute mark put the Blue Streaks up by three for the meantime, 16-13. The Polar Bears would then quickly respond, closing out the half on a 14-6 run going into halftime with only a 27-22 lead.
The Polar Bears would, however, continue right where they left off at the end of the first half. ONU came out of the second half gates with a vengeance as they reeled off an 11-2 run over the span of the first four minutes of the half. Then, with a little under seven minutes left to play, the Polar Bears led by as many as 26 points, having outscored the Blue Streaks 34-13 in the first 13-plus minutes of the second half.
Ohio Northern (16-3, 10-2 OAC) was led offensively by junior Morgan Dumbaugh who had a game-high 22 points. Sophomore forward Cenzie Yoder and senior forward Kara Dysert each hit double figures in rebounding, combining for 23 total boards. Ohio Northern out-rebounded the Blue Streaks by a final count of 45-32 on the day.
Missy Spahar aside, there was really no offensive spark from the Blue Streaks. The Polar Bears defense, which ranks second in the OAC, held the Blue Streaks to 29.4 percent shooting from the floor, including also holding them to only 20 percent from the land of three.
One impressive superlative though for the Blue Streaks was their 93.3 percent shooting percentage from the foul line, marking their best shooting performance from the charity stripe all season. They went 91.7 percent from the line on Jan. 21 against Capital University. Sophomore Allie Lustig, who leads the OAC in assists per game with 4.9, continued her offensive efficiency as she recorded five assists in the loss to ONU.
With six games left to play in the regular season, the Blue Streaks began a three-game homestand last night when they hosted last place Heidelberg University. They will next face off with the Otterbein College Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center. Sophomore forward Hilary Liwosz scored a career-high 20 points in their last meeting on Dec. 17 in Westerville, Ohio. The Cardinals defeated JCU, 72-64.