STERLING — The Ottawa University women’s basketball team’s run for a tournament berth took a hit Saturday with a 68-64 loss to No. 17 Sterling in the Gleason Center.


Ottawa (8-17, 8-14) is two games behind Bethel for the final spot in the tournament with two games remaining.


The Lady Braves gave Sterling all it could handle. Sterling led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter and opened a 23-15 lead in the second quarter. Ottawa hit Sterling with a 9-1 spurt to tie the game at 24-24. Ottawa took its first lead of the game at 27-26 with 6:27 left in the first half. Ottawa led 36-31 at halftime.


Sterling took charge again and closed the third quarter with a 10-0 run to take a 52-45 lead. Ottawa kept charging at Sterling, coming within three at 60-57 and cut a 64-57 deficit to 66-64 late in the game.


The Lady Braves shot 33 percent from the field. Mariah Grizzle paced Ottawa with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Jennifer Anthony tossed in 13 points and Avery Lewman finished with 12.


Ottawa plays 6 p.m. Wednesday against KCAC leader Kansas Wesleyan. Ottawa will honor four seniors following the game.