John Carroll University Women’s Basketball is just ankle deep into the Ohio Athletic Conference schedule, but the Blue and Gold have already seen some of the toughest talent the conference has to offer.
In just their second game of the conference schedule, the Blue Streaks were unable to find that first OAC win. A physical game with the conference leader Ohio Northern University would continue that search for the Blue Streaks with a 67-62 loss to the Polar Bears.
JCU made a strong case for a victory in the early parts of the contest against the #24 nationally ranked Polar Bears. A 26-point performance in the opening quarter was sparked by a 12-2 run to start. The hosting Blue Streaks had the Polar Bears on their heels when they were leading 21-6 just mid-way through the opening frame.
ONU would make a push in the second quarter with a 12-4 run to start, trimming the Blue Streak lead to 38-33 heading into the intermission.
Physicality was the theme of the second half, and most of the scoring was done the hard way by home team. John Carroll was responsible for 34 points in the paint, besting the 24 from the Polar Bears. For the game, JCU shot 41.9 percent from the floor, but had 22 turnovers.
With one minute remaining, junior guard Katie Battaglia made a steal at half court and added the easy transition bucket to tie the game at 62. Ohio Northern would close out the game and get the win by scoring the final five points.
Battaglia was the leading scorer for the Blue Streaks with 18 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Sarah Cairnie had the most support when she chipped in 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to register a double-double.
The 67-62 loss now sets the Blue Streaks back to a 4-3 record and a 0-2 mark in the conference. The loss also marks the first back-to-back loss in the regular season; something that has not happened since the 2012-2013 season and is the first of head coach’s Kelly Morrone’s tenure with the Blue Streaks.
OAC play will continue for the Blue Streaks as they have three more games slated before a back-to-back non-conference stint. The Wilmington College Fightin’ Quakers will pay a visit the University Heights in search of a victory against the Blue Streaks on Saturday, Dec. 12; this has not happened in the last four meetings.