COLUMBUS, Ohio – A staunch defensive effort in the first quarter set the tempo and helped carry Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team to a convincing 93-73 regional victory over Bellarmine Tuesday afternoon in Alumni Hall.
Sophomore Alexa Fisher (Powell, Ohio) had a career-high 26 points and eight rebounds in just 31 minutes of action, and sophomore Brittleigh Macaulay (Big Prairie, Ohio) came off the bench to score 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting and pull down six rebounds. The Panthers (8-3) shot 32-of-62 (51.6 percent) from the field and limited Bellarmine (6-4) to just 29-of-74 (39.2 percent) shooting.
The Panthers closed the first quarter on a 12-4 run, holding the Knights to just two made field goals over the final five minutes of the period. Senior Sarah Futscher (Wilder, Ky.) connected with sophomore Macaulay on a pair of passes that led to layups, and a layup by Futscher and a pair of free throws from Fisher put the Panthers in front 17-7 as part of an 8-0 burst to start the run.
ODU would take a 22-11 lead through the first 10 minutes, holding Bellarmine to just 31.3 percent shooting in the quarter.
That advantage never dipped below nine points the rest of the game. Up 26-17 three minutes into the second quarter, ODU shook free with a 9-2 run to build a 16 point cushion. Futscher made a layup and Fisher hit a three and made a pair of free throws, and junior Emily Thomas (Pickerington, Ohio) stuck a jumper to put the Panthers in front 35-19 midway through the quarter. Later, Fisher knocked down another triple to extend the lead to 47-26, and the Panthers took a 47-30 lead into the break.
ODU shot 54.8 percent (17-of-31) in the first half, turned 10 Bellarmine turnovers into 12 points, and had a 20-2 advantage in scoring off the bench.
Bellarmine closed to within 56-42 in the third quarter, but the Panthers outscored BU 21-8 to close the quarter and take a 77-50 lead into the fourth.
This was the third time ODU has scored at least 90 points in a game this season, while the 51.6 percent shooting is a season-high. ODU has now made at least 30 field goals in three of the last four games, and the Panthers also made a season-best 24 free throws.
Senior Megan Eyre (Fayetteville, Ohio) went 5-of-5 from the field and scored 12 points with five rebounds and four assists. Senior Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) added 11 points, and junior Alexis Overly (Chillicothe, Ohio) scored eight points with six assists.
Ohio Dominican returns to the court at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30 at Malone for a G-MAC contest.
Contact: Scott Miles