OTTAWA — The McPherson College women's basketball team closed out the road portion of its 2016-2017 regular-season schedule with a 71-57 loss to Ottawa University in a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup Thursday night at Wilson Field House.
McPherson (13-16, 8-13 KCAC) jumped out to a 7-1 lead behind five early points from Brooklyn Coe and used a 7-0 run later in the quarter to lead 14-10 with 1:47 to play. Five straight points by Ashley Romig down the stretch gave Ottawa (17-12, 13-8 KCAC) a 15-14 lead with just 20 seconds remaining, but Kristina Battle nailed a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give the Bulldogs a 17-15 lead after one quarter.
The Braves opened the second quarter with a 12-2 run, turning a two-point deficit into an eight-point lead just 2:25 into the frame. McPherson scored seven of the next nine points — all at the free throw line — to cut the deficit to just three with 2:41 left in the half. Back-to-back baskets by Romig pushed the lead back to seven before Danielle Holt scored on a layup with 1:09 remaining to make it a five-point margin. Romig and Battle traded free throws in the final minute to send the teams into the locker room with Ottawa holding a 34-29 halftime lead.
After shooting 6-of-11 from the field in the first quarter, McPherson was just 2-of-12 from the field in the second quarter, but kept itself in the game by hitting eight of 10 free throws. Ottawa was 8-of-14 from the field in the frame.
The hosts came out on fire in the second half, using a 17-5 run that spanned most of the quarter to push the lead to 17 at 51-34. Brooke Racette hit a 3-pointer with 2:33 left to stunt the run and kick off a string of six straight for the Bulldogs. Romig scored the final four points of the quarter, sending the Braves to the final stanza with a 55-40 lead.
McPherson scored five in a row to kick off the fourth quarter and, later, cut the lead to single digits on a field goal by Battle just past the midway point of the quarter, but could not get closer. Ottawa scored the next five points then used free throws down the stretch to close out the game.
Ottawa's ability to make shots, especially inside, proved to be the tipping point in the game. The Braves shot 23-of-51 (45.1 percent) from the field, made five of 19 3-pointers and were 20-of-23 (87.0 percent) — including a perfect 12-of-12 in the second half — from the charity stripe.
Romig finished with a game-high 31 points on 11-of-12 shooting. She also made nine of 12 free throws, pulled down 12 rebounds, blocked five shots and had a pair of assists. Kaylee Williams added 11 points and Jenna Kramer 10 for the Braves.
The Bulldogs, which shot 18-of-54 (33.3 percent) from the field, were paced by Coe with 13 points. Battle added 10 points and six rebounds, while Emma Van Donselaar also finished with 10. Holt finished with six points and a team-best seven rebounds and Cami Richardson had eight points, three rebounds and three assists. Racette and Brooke Zimmerman rounded out the scoring for McPherson with five points apiece.
McPherson is currently on the outside looking in for the KCAC Tournament headed into Saturday's regular season finale against Southwestern in McPherson. The Bulldogs trail the Lady Builders (13-16, 9-12 KCAC) by one game in the standings. Southwestern took the initial meeting between the schools, 73-63, in Winfield on Jan. 12. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. from the Sport Center.