COLUMBUS - Despite hot shooting in the second half Thursday (Jan. 5), Lake Superior State women's basketball was unable to overcome Ohio Dominican on the road and fell to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division members, 69-66.
The Panthers (9-5, 4-3 GLIAC) opened the first quarter with a meager 3-for-12 shooting from the field but hit 10-10 free-throw attempts to take a 16-12 lead over the Lakers (3-10, 1-5 GLIAC) through the opening frame. ODU closed out the first half a perfect 13-13 from the charity stripe and a five-point lead, while the Lakers did not attempt a free-throw during the first half.
During the second half, the Lakers shot a blistering 57.1 percent from the field, including 6-for-10 from behind the arc to trim the ODU lead.
A three-point field goal made by Lauren Bates put the Panthers ahead by eight with 5:43 remaining in regulation. A 9-4 run by the Lakers was capped by Rachel Novotny's layup with 2:20 remaining, to cut the ODU lead to 63-60.
Following a pair of made free throws by Madi Rittinger to give the Panthers a 65-60 lead with two minutes remaining, sophomore guard Valerie Meissner hit a three with 1:13 left to cut the deficit to a pair.
Out of a 30-second ODU timeout, Darian Rose made a layup to put the Panthers ahead 67-63. The Lakers called a timeout of their own after the basket by Rose and responded with their second consecutive three-pointer, this time by freshman Claire Radtke, to draw to within one point.
An offensive foul called on Bates during the next possession gave the Lakers the ball with 29 seconds remaining, trailing 67-66. Radtke found herself open in the corner for a deep two-point basket with six seconds left but the shot rimmed out and was rebounded by ODU. Rittinger connected on a pair of free-throws following the defensive rebound to close out the three-point victory.
Meissner led the way for Lakers with game-highs of 19 points and seven assists, followed by senior guard Mackenzie Edwards with 14 points and five assists. Edwards also tied for a game-high seven rebounds with sophomore center Rachel Novotny, who notched eight points for LSSU.
On the game, the Lakers finished with better shooting totals, 27-of-56 from the field (48.2 percent) and 10-for-22 (45.5 percent) behind the arc for LSSU, compared to ODU's 22-of-54 (40.7 percent) from the field and 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from three-point range. The Panthers did, however, come away with a large advantage from the charity stripe, knocking down 21-of-24 free-throws, while the Lakers attempted just four free throws during the entire game, making a pair.
The Lakers close out play against GLIAC South Division foes during the 2016-17 regular season at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hillsdale. Following the women's game and prior to the men's basketball game at Hillsdale, the LSSU Alumni Association is hosting a social in the mezzanine area on the west side of the Roche Sports Complex, open to all LSSU alumni and fans.
Snacks and door prizes will be provided for free, courtesy of the LSSU Alumni Association. Donations will be accepted. The social begins immediately after the women's game and continues into the first part of the men's game. The mezzanine area overlooks the gym, so fans can still catch all of the action during the men's game.