Late game situations has not gone well for the Ottawa University women’s basketball team. The Lady Braves can’t close out games right now.
The Lady Braves have lost six straight and eight of its past 10 games with a few of them coming down to the final moments.
Ottawa came up short Saturday in Wilson Field House with a 57-55 loss to No. 25 Tabor. Point Guard Nikki Lewis hit two free throws with seven seconds left to lift Tabor to the victory.
“We have to take advantage of the opportunities,” Ottawa coach Bruce Tate said. “Down the stretch we were not able to do that. We executed most of the defensive game plan. We let [Lewis] get loose a few times. She made a play there at the end.”
Ottawa was up 55-54 when Lewis drove to the hoop and was fouled. She finished with 23 points and took over the offensive load after Janelle Rust went down with an injury in the first half.
Mikayla Skidmore’s running layup missed the mark with about a second left in the game.
“Our bad habits still haunt us,” Tate said. “We keep coming up a little short. You have to make plays. We struggle on who will make that play.”
Ottawa made Tabor work for the victory. Ottawa held the the Bluejays to 36 percent from the field and forced 17 turnovers.
“I challenged them to get back to playing defense,” Tate said. “Making teams earn everything they get. We were prepared.
“We took them out of their offense. When ranked teams come to Wilson, we play pretty well.”
Ottawa countered by hitting 41 percent from the field, including 53 percent in the second half. The Lady Braves had 21 turnovers and was 16 of 23 from the free-throw line. Ottawa missed three charities in the final three minutes.
Tate said missed free throws and turnovers at the wrong time kept Ottawa from having a bigger lead heading into the final moments of the game.
“We had many opportunities to win that game,” he said. “We did a lot of good things. We came up a little short.
“It is tough to swallow this one.”
Ambers Ramsey paced Ottawa with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. Lauren Buckles had 13 points and three steals.
Ottawa (7-17, 3-11) plays 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Bethel.
Tabor (57) — Rust 2, Honn 4, Lewis 23, Mary 7, Smith 5, Oliver 9, Paust 7.
Ottawa (55) — Dowell 4, Ramsey 14, Skidmore 4, Meier 5, McClure 8, Christman 7, Buckles 13.