Polar Bears Outlast Women’s Basketball Team in Double Overtime

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TIFFIN, Ohio—After 45 minutes of basketball, Ohio Northern University outscored the Heidelberg University women's basketball team by six points in the second overtime period to escape with an 88-82 victory tonight in an Ohio Athletic Conference game at Seiberling Gymnasium in Tiffin, Ohio. Sophomore guard Kathleen Phillips (Sandusky/St. Mary's) made a three-pointer with three seconds left in the first overtime period to send the game into the second overtime.

After playing 48 of the 50 minutes, Phillips finished the game with 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting, made six three-pointers, and tallied six rebounds, three assists and four steals. Sophomore guard Megan Miller (Tiffin/Columbian) poured in a season-high 23 points of her own and grabbed five rebounds. Freshman guard Paige Ricketts (Mineral City/Tusky Valley) and junior forward Molly Schriber (Sidney) each tallied eight markers for Heidelberg (4-18, 1-14 OAC).

Three Polar Bears (19-3, 13-2 OAC) were one rebound away from a double-double, led by Cenzie Yoder's 27 points and 16 points and 12 points from Kara Dysert and Joanna Snyder, respectively. Katie Mengos tallied 12 points of her own to go with six rebounds, a game-high five assists, and four steals.

Both teams matched each other during the first minute of the second overtime period, but it was ONU that escaped by shooting two-of-five from the field and six-of-six from the charity stripe down the stretch.

The Polar Bears wasted little time in taking a 15-4 lead less than five minutes into the contest, but the Berg went on a 9-0 run capped at the 13:36 mark with a Phillips three-pointer, cutting the deficit to 15-13.

A lay-up by Katie Jones just seconds later extended the ONU lead to 17-13, but Phillips scored five straight points to give Heidelberg its first lead of the game at 18-17 with 12:13 on the clock.

Following a 20-20 tie, the Polar Bears took a 27-21 advantage at 7:38 with a Snyder jumper.

The Berg again scored five consecutive points to pull to within 27-26 with a three-pointer by Miller and a lay-up by freshman forward Jessica Simpkins (Sunbury/Big Walknut) at the 6:26 mark.

ONU finished the first half on an 8-5 run to take a 35-31 lead into the break.

Heidelberg opened the half with a three-pointer from Phillips and a lay-up from junior guard Jordan Ickes (Wooster/Triway) at the 18:23 mark to take a 36-35 lead, and increased its advantage to 47-41 with 13:57 on the clock following another triple from Phillips.

The Tri-Color built its lead to 51-43 with 11:20 to go after Ricketts sank a pair of free throws.

Dysert scored eight points over the next nine ONU possessions to spark a 13-2 jaunt that put the Polar Bears ahead, 56-53, after she made a jumper at the 6:53 mark.

The Berg retook a six-point lead following a 11-2 run of its own as Schriber made a lay-up at 2:25 to give the Tri-Color a 64-58 advantage.

ONU scored the next seven points and assumed a 65-64 lead with just 17 seconds to play when Yoder made a jumper.

A foul by Dysert with one second left in regulation put Miller on the line. Miller's first free throw attempt was good, but the second rimmed out to send the game into overtime.

Yoder canned a pair of free throws at the 4:07 mark to open a 67-65 lead in the first overtime, but Phillips gave the Berg a 68-67 lead just seconds later with another trey.

Following three ties, Heidelberg took a 75-72 advantage when Phillips made a jumper with just 1:17 to go.

ONU went on a 6-0 run, capped by Mengos' pair of free throws with nine seconds to play, and took a 78-75 lead.

Undaunted, Phillips received the in-bounds pass, dribbled down court, and fired a turn-around three-pointer that was a no-doubter, sending the game into the final period.

The Tri-Color shot 39.7 (29-of-73) percent from the field, including 48.0 (12-of-25) from the three-point line, but was just 63.2 (12-of-19) from the charity stripe.

ONU was 38.8 (31-of-80) shooting, but countered with a 77.8 (21-of-27() shooting performance from the line and held a 62-38 advantage in rebounds.

Heidelberg begins a season-ending three-game road swing Saturday, Feb. 11 when it faces Marietta College at 3 p.m. A loss Saturday will eliminate the Berg from the OAC tournament.