The Ottawa University women’s basketball teams have not been able to get over the hump in close games this season.
The Lady Braves are 0-5 in games decided by four or less points. Ottawa opened the season with two one-point losses and fell to Friends by a late bucket that broke a tie.
Ottawa (2-10, 2-7) returns to the court at 3 p.m. Saturday at home against No. 16 Sterling (11-4, 8-1). The Lady Braves closed the pre-holiday portion of the schedule with a 76-46 victory over York. Ottawa’s defense has been suffocating the past five games, allowing 53.6 points and opponents are shooting 34% from the field. The Lady Braves are ranked 39th in the NAIA in point allowed per game (63.5) and 40th in turnover margin (2.08).
Sterling has a potent offense, averaging 81.8 points per game, which is No. 16 in NAIA Div. II. Sterling is ranked third in NAIA in field goal percentage at .478.
The Lady Braves offense averages 58 points a game. Ottawa is paced by junior guard Madi McAvoy at 11.3 points per game. Liz Vaughn averages 9.8 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Ottawa has won seven of the past 12 games in the series, but fell to Sterling in the past five meetings. Sterling’s three-game winning streak was snapped with a loss Dakota State University in its final game before the holiday break.