LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team challenged No. 9 Bellarmine but suffered an 82-81 loss as the Knights split a pair of free throws with one second left in overtime.
The Panthers led 78-74 with 3:05 left in overtime after a three-point play by senior Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) and were still up 79-76 after a Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) free throw with 2:31 left.
Bellarmine tied it with a three-pointer on the next possession, but two more free throws by Bates gave the Panther an 81-79 lead with 1:40 to play.
The Knights tied it with two free throws with 33 seconds left, and ODU turned the ball over on its next possession. Bellarmine missed a shot, but grabbed the offensive rebound and drew a foul to earn a trip to the line in the waning moments.
Rittinger led ODU with 18 points and 10 rebounds, making 8-of-9 free throws. She also blocked four shots. Senior Kayla Cook (Westerville, Ohio) scored 14 points off the bench to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Senior Lindsey Blanford (Xenia, Ohio) added 13 points and six rebounds, and junior Megan Eyre (Fayetteville, Ohio) recorded six assists. Freshman Jessica Boerger (Fort Loramie, Ohio) made 5-of-7 shots off the bench and scored 10 points as well.
ODU fell behind 16-5 in the first quarter and trailed 20-13 heading into the second quarter. Still down 28-20, ODU closed the half on a 10-2 run. Senior Tori Beth Leader (West Portsmouth, Ohio) hit a three to make it 28-25, and after a pair of Rittinger free throws, Blanford knocked down a jump shot with 47 seconds left to tie it at 30 heading to intermission.
The Panthers momentarily grabbed a five point third quarter lead (50-45) after a Leader jump shot and a triple by junior Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) with 2:22 left in the period, but the Knights recovered and took a 55-54 lead heading to the fourth.
ODU started the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run, capped on a pair of Rittinger free throws, to go on top 63-57 with 6:18 left. A layup by Cook kept the Panthers on top 72-68 with 1:49 left, but the Panthers turned the ball over twice in the final 69 seconds of regulation, allowing Bellarmine to tie it and force the extra period.
Ohio Dominican returns to the road for a 5:30 p.m. contest at No. 8 California (Pa.) on Tuesday.
Contact: Scott Miles