COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team opened up a 20 point third quarter lead but had to sweat out some anxious moments late as the Panthers held off visiting Indianapolis 77-72 on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers improved to 8-2 with the win, continuing their best start to a season in their Division II era, as four players scored in double figures.
ODU led 39-33 at the break and started the third period on a 20-6 run to go in front 59-39 following a three-point play by junior Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) with 4:17 left. That would be the final points of the quarter for ODU, though, as UIndy scored the next 13 to cut it to 59-52 heading into the last 10 minutes.
Junior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) ended the ODU scoring drought on a backdoor cut layup off a pass from sophomore Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) to give ODU a 61-53 advantage one minute into the fourth, and the Panthers bumped their lead to 65-56 on a layup by senior Melissa Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) with 5:25 to play.
The Greyhounds scored five straight to make it 65-61 with 3:29 left, but four free throw makes by Rittinger, Bates and Rose extended the ODU lead to 69-61 with two minutes left.
The Greyhounds made one last push, drawing with 73-70 with 23 seconds left, but junior Tori Beth Leader (West Portsmouth, Ohio) made four free throws to seal the win.
Rittinger (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Scherpenberg (13 points, 13 rebounds) each ended up with double doubles to lead the Panthers. Rittinger also blocked four shots and had four assists.
Bates made 6-of-8 shots for 13 points and set a career high with seven steals. She also tied a season-best with five assists, all coming in the first half.
Leader chipped in with 13 points, Rose scored nine with three assists, and freshman Cayla Bensman (Anna, Ohio) added five points off the bench.
The Panthers shot 43.5 percent (27-of-62), compared to 45.5 percent for UIndy (25-of-55). The Panthers forced 22 turnovers while committing just 15 of their own, and the Panther bench had a 17-0 edge in scoring.
Leading the way for the Greyhounds (2-9) in scoring was Princess German with 31 points while Nicole Anderson scored 30 points with 15 rebounds.
Ohio Dominican returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2 at Michigan Tech.
Contact: Scott Miles