LIMA – The University of Northwestern Ohio women’s basketball team is searching for consistency.
In Wednesday’s Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference game against visiting University of Michigan-Dearborn, UNOH was locked down, defensively, in the second quarter, holding the Wolverines to just five points.
UNOH led 34-24 at the halftime break.
However, UM-Dearborn came roaring back in the second half, took the lead and pulled away for a 69-62 victory over the Racers.
“I thought we came out in the first quarter and we weren’t, mentally, ready to go,” UNOH coach Mike Armbruster said. “In the second quarter, we really locked in, mentally, and held UM-Dearborn to five points, and really attacked where we needed to attack. Even though we didn’t score a ton in that second quarter – we did a lot better (defensively).”
“We came out in the second half and we were once again, not mentally focused. So, we have to figure out how to come out of the locker room with the same intensity that we went into the locker room with.”
Emily Patton (Upper Scioto Valley) led UNOH (7-19, 3-14 WHAC) and all scorers with 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting from the field. Cori Dickson scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers.
UM-Dearborn (7-20, 2-16 WHAC) had four players score in double figures. Sade Lemons led the Wolverines with 16 points, including three 3-pointers. Jeorgia Jones (15), Natalie Spala (11) and Megan Swick (10) also registered double figures for Dearborn.
“The big thing we talked about in the locker room was that we just needed to play hard,” UM-Dearborn coach Jordan Sweeney said. “Playing hard is a big part of the game. You can draw all the X’s and O’s that you want, but if you don’t give the effort, then it’s really not going to matter.”
UM-Dearborn started the game on an 8-2 run. The Wolverines had the Racers on their heels, early on.
However, Maddie Schulte (Delphos St. John’s, five points) finally gave UNOH its first lead, 20-19, with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter, with a runner from the baseline.
The Racers led 22-19 at the first stop.
UNOH extended its lead to 25-19, on an old-fashion 3-point play by Kierra Billingsley (three points), a couple minutes into the second quarter.
Moments later, Patton scored off the baseline to give the Racers a 27-19 advantage.
With 6:32 left in the half, Goodrum made two free throws to push the UNOH lead to 10, 29-19.
The Racers led 34-24 at the halftime break. Dickson led UNOH in the first half with eight points. Goodrum and Patton each added seven points for the Racers.
UM-Dearborn came out strong in the second half.
UM-Dearborn cut the deficit to 4, 34-30 at the 8:50 mark on an inside move by Spala.
Two minutes later, Dearborn cut it to 1, 36-35 on a three by Swick.
Dearborn finally reclaimed the lead, 37-36, on a basket by Jones at the 5:12 mark of the third quarter.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 48-42 by the third stop.
“If we hold a team to five points in one quarter, we can’t afford to give up 24 in the next quarter (third),” Armbruster said. “So, that’s the inconsistency we have to get worked out.”
The Racers pushed the tempo in the early moments of the fourth quarter.
Dickson cut the deficit to 2, 54-52 at the 6:38 mark, on an inside move.
But Dearborn had answers the rest of the way.
The Wolverines got to the free throw line often down the stretch to stave off the Racers.
For the game, UNOH shot 37 percent from the floor. UM-Dearborn shot 40 percent from the field.
The Racers committed 20 turnovers, while UM-Dearborn turned it over 18 times.
The Wolverines held a 43-36 edge on the boards.
UNOH was without the services of senior Danielle VanDyne (Bath), who was sidelined with an illness. VanDyne is averaging 9.7 points per game.
“She’s out with the flu and pneumonia, and she’s a big component of what we do,” Armbruster said. “I think she would have had a big impact in this game. Last time we played them, I think she scored in double digits, had seven rebounds and like four or five steals. She would have had an impact, but you have to play with what you got. So, it is what it is.”
Former Jefferson standout on um-dearborn staff
Former Delphos Jefferson (class of 2006) and Wayne State basketball standout Brooke Bowers is an assistant coach for UM-Dearborn.