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ONU Women's Hoops scores 17 points off turnovers in 48-45 win over Mount Union

ADA - The Ohio Northern women's basketball team scored 17 points off of 22 Mount Union turnovers en route picking up a 48-45 victory on Saturday at the ONU Sports Center.

The victory extends ONU's home win streak to 14 games.

The Polar Bears improved to 13-3 overall and 8-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Northern remains in sole possession of first-place in the OAC and is off to its best start since the 1987-88 season.

The Purple Raiders dropped to 6-10 overall and 3-6 in the OAC.

Northern shot only 31.6 percent (18-of-57) from the field and 20 percent (4-of-20) on 3-point attempts, but were able to hold a 17-0 advantage on points off of turnovers.

Senior Erin Brand led ONU with 17 points, four rebounds and four steals.

Senior Leah Zimmerman scored 11 points and connected on 3-of-5 from behind the arc.

Junior Alisha Rinehart added 10 points off the bench.

Mount Union was led by Alicia Williams, who scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

In addition, Tessa Pohovey scored 12 points and dished out three assists.

The Purple Raiders held a 28-27 lead with 16:10 left in the game, but Zimmerman drilled a pair of 3-pointers in a 30-second span to put ONU up 33-29 with 15:12 left to play.

Northern extended its lead to 44-37 when Zimmerman found Brand for a jumper at the 8:45 mark in the second half.

A little over two minutes later, Mount Union cut ONU's lead to one-point on a pair of free throws by Pohovey. However, Zimmerman hit another clutch jumper to put the Polar Bears up 46-43 with 4:32 left in the game.

Neither team scored over the next 3:47, until Mount Union's Williams made the score 46-45 with 45 seconds remaining in the game.

The Purple Raiders, down by one-point, had the ball and a chance to take the lead, but Brand was able to poke the ball away from Williams with nine seconds left.

Senior Jenny Markle scooped up the loose ball, was fouled and swished a pair of free throws to put Northern up 48-45.

The Purple Raiders took at 10-5 lead on a 3-pointer from Haley Drayer 5:30 into the game.

Northern answered by scoring seven straight points to go up 12-10 on a Brand jumper with 10:13 left before halftime.

Northern was up 21-20 a minute before halftime after Brand hit a jumper, but Pohovey hit a jumper of her own a few seconds later to give MUC a 22-21 lead at halftime.

"I think we gutted it out and I think that's a plus," ONU head coach Michelle Durand said. "It shows we can win close games."

Ohio Northern returns to action next Saturday when Marietta travels to Ada for a 3 p.m. contest at the ONU Sports Center.