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Second-half surge falls short as Bishops top Owls

The Kenyon College Owls women’s basketball team had a successful second half on Wednesday evening against the visiting Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops, but the Bishops built a first-half lead that simply could not be overcome. 

Anissa Hardy and Claudia Cooke headlined the Owls squad tonight, each reaching double figures and combining for over half of Kenyon’s (3-14, 1-5 NCAC) points, but eventually falling 68-38 to Ohio Wesleyan (13-3, 5-1 NCAC).

The Bishops, currently tied atop the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) standings, rattled off 10 straight points to start the game, but the Owls played tough on defense to hold the conference leaders in field goal percentage to just 33 percent from the field. 

In the second, Hardy and Cooke tried their best to give the offense a spark, but the Owls went cold from the field against the top-ranked Bishops defense, finding Kenyon in a 42-10 hole after 20 minutes. 

Despite the tall task ahead, Kenyon battled back impressively in the second half, outscoring the conference leader in points per game 28-26 and hitting nearly 50 percent of shots from the field and 66 percent from beyond the arc in the process. 

Grace Murphy hit tough, contested shots and tied a career-high in points, Alyssa Gest drained two deep threes to chop away at the deficit and Mikayla Rudolph dished out a team-high two assists. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Hardy led the charge with two blocks and a steal, while tying Rudolph with a team-high five defensive rebounds to give the Owls valuable possessions in the second. In the end, the strong effort was not enough to overcome the Bishop’s large first-half lead, ending the game at 68-38.

As a team, Kenyon shot 40.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from three, much improved compared to the squad’s season-long averages, and held Ohio Wesleyan to 36.9 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three. The Owls’ defense also won the defensive rebound battle 24-18 and registered three blocks to the Bishops’ one. 

Hardy and Cooke each finished with ten points, Gest had eight and Murphy had five. Raine Hammel ended with three points and Rudolph chipped in two. 

The loss drops Kenyon’s record to 3-14 overall and 1-5 in the conference. The Owls are back in action on Saturday afternoon as the team travels to Hiram, Ohio to take on the Hiram College Terriers at 2:00 PM for an NCAC matchup. 

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