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Weekly Sports Digest: January 22-29

Junior runner Emily Richards currently has the fastest 800-meter dash time in the country, the 10th-fastest in Division III indoor history. (photo/ ONU Sports Information)

At the conclusion of every week, the Northern Review will recap what happened that week in the world of Ohio Northern athletics, and will also preview the week ahead. Here are this week’s headlines:

#7 Women’s basketball stays undefeated with dramatic win at Wilmington

Ohio Northern, ranked 7th in the nation at the conclusion of the week, escaped Wilmington with a one-point overtime victory on Wednesday night to keep their record perfect. The Polar Bears trailed by one with six seconds left when senior point guard Britt Lauck (below) nailed a contested midrange jumper, putting Northern up one and propelling them towards victory. In a back-and-forth classic, ONU came out on top behind 15 points and 14 rebounds from sophomore center Amy Bullimore.

On Saturday, the Polar Bears pulled away from Capital late at home, earning a 64-49 win. Northern will look to start the season 20-0 with a win on Wednesday, when they host Baldwin Wallace (16-3). Baldwin Wallace defeated ONU at King Horn last year in the OAC Tournament semifinals.


Richards breaks more records in Michigan

Junior runner Emily Richards (right) broke her previous 800-meter dash school record this weekend, setting a new record at 2:09.46. The women’s indoor track & field team finished sixth of 19 teams at the Grand Valley State (Mich.) Invitational. Richards, last year’s D-III national champion in the 800-meter race, currently holds the fastest time in the country in that event; she holds the 10th-fastest time in D-III indoor history.

This comes just one week after Richards broke the school record for the 1,000-meter dash by seven seconds, when Northern hosted the OAC Split Meet.

Northern’s 4x400 relay team also set a school record in Michigan this weekend, finishing fifth overall at 3:59.54. The team consists of seniors Meagan Ellinger and Michelle Mosler, as well as Richards and freshman Taylor Lavey.


Men’s basketball enters February atop the OAC

With wins this week over Wilmington and Capital, the Polar Bears moved to 10-2 in the OAC, which keeps them at first place in the conference. While defending-champ Marietta is also 10-2, Northern currently holds the tiebreaker because they beat Marietta earlier this season.

The Bears also extended their win streak to seven games this week. They were been led by 20 points from senior Devon Allen on Wednesday against Wilmington and 20 points from junior Joey DiOrio (left) on Saturday against Capital.

The men’s basketball program has experienced just one season of double-digit conference wins over the past six years; with six regular season games left to play, this year’s team has already reached the 10-win mark.


What to watch for this week:

#7 Women’s basketball looks for 20-0 start against rival Baldwin Wallace

The Bears will try to remain perfect as they host the Yellow Jackets (16-3) on Wednesday night. Baldwin Wallace is currently second in the OAC, trailing Northern by three games. When these league foes battled in Berea three weeks ago, ONU came away with a five-point victory. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, at King Horn Sports Center.


#20 Wrestling takes on defending OAC champ #15 Baldwin Wallace

Northern, ranked 20th nationally and carrying a 2-0 record in the OAC, will travel to Otterbein on Tuesday before facing 15th-ranked Baldwin Wallace in Berea on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets won the conference last winter, going 5-0. The winner of Friday’s match will likely control their own destiny in the hunt for this year’s OAC crown. Friday’s match will start at 7:30 p.m.


Indoor track & field hosts Joe Banks Invitational

Including Ohio Northern, thirteen schools will compete in this year’s Joe Banks Invitational, held at King Horn on Saturday. Among these schools are Capital, Case Western, Otterbein and Wittenberg. Field events will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, while track events will begin at noon.