Markle's heroics lift Ohio Northjern to a 51-48 win at No. 24 Capital
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Northern women's basketball team remained in first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference by posting its second consecutive victory over a nationally-ranked opponent, rallying for a 51-48 victory at No. 24-ranked Capital Saturday afternoon at the Capital Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 11-3 overall and move to 6-1 in OAC, while the Crusaders fall to 10-3, 5-2.
At the beginning of the week, Ohio Northern was in a four-way tie for first place in the OAC with Wilmington, Capital and Baldwin-Wallace.
Northern then defeated No. 23-ranked Wilmington 66-51 on Wednesday and beat No. 24 Capital on Saturday to stay in first place, tied with BW.
Jenny Markle scored the game's final five points as ONU ended the game on a 7-0 run in the final minute to top the Crusaders.
Trailing 48-44, Alisha Rinehart drilled two free throws with 1:00 left to pull ONU within 48-46.
Markle, the nation's leading three-point shooter at 59.7 percent, nailed a three-pointer with 31 seconds left to give ONU a 49-48 lead.
Markle then blocked a layup attempt by Capital's Heather McAlpin with 16 seconds left and made two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to put the Bears up 51-48.
Kristin Richardson missed a shot with six seconds left and Rinehart rebounded as ONU then ran out the clock.
Erin Brand led the Polar Bears with 21 points and eight rebounds and Markle added 11 on three-of-five 3-point shooting and her two late free throws.
Markle is now ONU's career-leader in three-pointers made with 216, breaking the previous mark of 213 set by Alysaa Rickert from 2001-04.
Richardson scored 14 points, McAlpin had 12 points and Caitlin Elsass added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Capital.
Northern scored the game's first six points and had leads of 16-6 and 21-9 before CU rallied to within 27-22 at halftime.
The Crusaders went on a 9-0 run to go up 39-35 with 9:39 to play, but ONU then went on an 8-0 run to regain a 43-39 advantage with 3:37 remaining.
Capital then scored nine of the game's next 10 points to take a 48-44 lead with 1:18 remaining, setting up ONU's late surge.
The Polar Bears made 17-of 44 of its field goals for 38.6 percent, while Capital made just 17-of-51 shots for 33.3 percent.
Northern out-rebounded CU 36-29.
The Polar Bears will return home for a contest with Muskingum Wednesday at 7:30 pm at the ONU Sports Center.