Dousing one of the KCAC’s hottest teams has the Lady Braves in the mix for a postseason berth. The Ottawa University women’s basketball team (8-16, 8-12 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) toppled Bethel College (18-7, 13-7 KCAC) for the second time this season Saturday. The 62-53 win keeps OU one game behind Avila University and Bethany College for eighth-place in the standings — the top eight teams qualify for the KCAC Tournament.
Avila stunned Oklahoma Wesleyan at home 65-64, and Bethany upended McPherson Saturday 76-61 to keep pace.
Ottawa plays last-place York College (4-21, 1-19 KCAC) 5 p.m. Wednesday in York, Nebraska for a chance to strengthen its record. OU beat York 59-50 Dec. 15 in Wilson Field House.
Saturday’s win over Bethel not only improved Ottawa’s home record to 5-2 in its last seven games at Wilson Field House, but snapped a five-game losing streak.
The Lady Braves built a monster lead in the first half. A three-pointer by Jennifer Anthony made it 29-12 with 7:10 left in the second quarter. That was Ottawa’s largest lead of the game, and the team had a 34-19 advantage at the break.
It took until the fourth period, but the Lady Threshers chipped the lead all the way down to four points. Bethel’s Alex Bearup hit a basket that made it 53-49 with 5:15 left. That was as close as Bethel got. The visiting team shot 1-9 from the field with a pair of turnovers in the final five minutes.
Freshmen post players Jordann Nachbar and Mariah Grizzle led the way for the Lady Braves. Nachbar notched a double-double, finishing with 13 points and 11 boards. Grizzle followed with 11 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Madi McAvoy scored 10 points off the bench for OU.
Ottawa (62) - Nachbar 13, Grizzle 11, McAvoy 10, Vaughn 7, Hendricks 5, Hughes 5, Anthony 5, Kramer 4, Barron 2.
Bethel (53) - Brown 16, Schmidt 14, Michalski 7, Schroeder 6, Bearup 5, Calzonetti 4, Schmieder 1.