The final game in a four-game home stand will be against a surging conference rival.
The Ottawa University women’s basketball team hosts Kansas Wesleyan University (11-9, 8-4 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) 6 p.m. Wednesday at OU’s Wilson Field House.
The Lady Coyotes are keeping within arm’s reach of the KCAC regular season title after winning three of their last four games. They are currently two games behind conference-leading Friends University. Kansas Wesleayn thumped lowly York College 79-45 Saturday at home in Salina.
Despite their hot streak, the Lady Coyotes are just 3-6 on the road this season.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has been moving in the opposite direction. The Lady Braves (5-13, 3-9 KCAC) have lost three of four games in January, including two by five points or less. OU is now 2-7 in games decided by five points or less this season.
Saturday’s game against Sterling College in Ottawa looked as if it would follow the recent trend of games coming down to the wire. Ottawa had previously played three straight games decided by fives points or less.
That would not be the case. A huge fourth quarter run put the game out of reach and Sterling walked away victorious, 64-51.
The Lady Warriors jumped to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter before Ottawa took over. The Lady Braves cut the lead to 30-28 at halftime thanks to two three-pointers by Jenna Kramer, and threes by Leslie Speer, senior forward, and Avery Lewman, sophomore guard.
Ottawa kept pace with its opponent throughout the third quarter, and grabbed a 44-43 lead with 29 seconds left in the period on a shot by Jessica King, senior forward.
From there, it was all Sterling. A 21-4 run put the Lady Warriors up by 18 with three minutes left, and OU couldn’t recover. The Lady Braves hit 3-16 shots in the fourth quarter, including 0-5 from beyond the arc.
Overall, Ottawa shot 26.6 percent from the field (17-64) compared to Sterling’s 43.1 percent (25-58).
Sterling’s Jordan Greer led all scorers with 21 points. Speer had a double-double for OU, scoring 10 points and snagging 10 boards. Kramer also had 10 points.
Sterling (64) — Greer 21, Sokoloski 10, Harris 10, Theus 10, Comley 9, Princ 4.
Ottawa (51) — Speer 10, Kramer 10, King 8, Hughes 7, Lewman 5, Offutt 5, Anthony 4, Hendricks 2.