ADA — Baldwin-Wallace coach Cheri Harrer didn’t want any special hoopla for her milestone victory.
A road win at Ohio Northern was plenty for her.
Harrer won her 500th game with a 69-64 victory over Ohio Northern in a college women’s basketball game Saturday at the King Horn Center.
Harrer, who is 500-182 at B-W, becomes only the fourth coach in the Ohio Athletic Conference to win 500 games and is only the second women’s coach to reach the plateau.
She joins retired men’s coach Dick Reynolds (Otterbein, 653), retired men’s coach Jim Burson (Muskingum, 540) and current women’s coach Dixie Jeffers (Capital, 651) in the 500-win club.
“That was my main focus (beating ONU), but I know the kids thought about the 500,” Harrer said. “I was really hoping we could put ourselves in a situation to stay in a situation to win the league.”
As far as joining the elite club, Harrer said with a laugh, “It just means I’m old.”
Added B-W’s Shari Mangas, a product of Leipsic High School, “She told our assistant coach that she didn’t want any recognition or anything like that. But the other captains and I talked and we respected that, but we thought it was a big accomplishment. So we got flowers for her and took a team picture (after the game).”
ONU (7-1 OAC, 11-4 overall) and B-W (7-1, 12-3) are tied for first in the OAC. John Carroll entered Saturday at 6-1 in the OAC.
Jordan Kimes led ONU with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Angela Tesny posted a career-high 13 points with two 3-pointers. Karissa Steffas has seven points and 11 rebounds.
Britt Lauck (Shawnee) scored nine points, all in the final five minutes.
Audrey Smolik led B-W with 17 points. B-W senior Mangas scored five points.
The Yellow Jackets led by 12 in the first half, but ONU closed the gap to 27-23 at the half.
The Polar Bears took one of their few leads 49-48 with 7:29 to go. But that was the last time they would be ahead.
ONU turned the ball over three times over the next five minutes when B-W switched to its 2-3 zone.
“They were getting in a pretty good rhythm and we wanted to change that rhythm up,” Harrer said. “Our kids don’t like the 2-3, but I think we play it pretty well. I think the 2-3 did change momentum of the game for us.”
After an ONU turnover against the 2-3, Janaya Feaster converted a fast-break layup and a foul shot to make it 53-49, B-W.
Lauck made a fast-break layup and a driving layup tie the game at 55 with 3:16 left.
B-W had one last run, a 9-0 burst and pulled away at 64-55 with 56 seconds to go. B-W took the lead to stay, 57-55, on a 15-footer by Smolik with 2:50 left.
ONU won the boards, 45-34, but shot only 37 percent from the field. B-W shot 40 percent and forced 11 ONU turnovers.
“It’s the first time in four years we’ve won here,” Mangas said. … “I’m glad we got a win because it puts us in first place in the OAC.”