A foul on a desperation heave by Mount Union senior guard Annie Bova led to a three point swing and momentum going into the fourth quarter in the Fighting Muskie Womens Basketball loss to the Purple Raiders Wednesday night in the Recreation Center 64-61.
The Muskies led by a single point 46-45 with five seconds left in the third period before Caitlyn Smith fouled the Ohio Athletic Conference’s leading scorer as the clock expired. Bova then made all three free throw attempts to give Mount Union a two point lead going into the final stanza 48-46.
“I thought it was a big turning point for Bova,” said Muskie Head Coach Beth Fox. “She’s a heck of a player, the kind you hate to play against but would love to have on your team.”
The Muskies were led in the contest by Mallory Taylor’s 28 points. Taylor went 9-13 from the field, including 4-5 from downtown, but couldn’t find her rhythm late in the game.
“I thought Mallory had an awesome day,” said Fox.
Leigha Moran stepped into the starting lineup against the Purple Raiders when starter Jasmine Goings did not play due to coach’s decision. Moran scored six points on the night but recorded 10 rebounds to help out defensively.
The Muskies had chances to take back the lead late in the game, but couldn’t get over the hump with the clock winding down in the loss.
“Mount’s a great team,” said Fox. “We definitely took a shot from them early and came back, but sometimes winning is so hard, it gets so mental, and we just have to get comfortable with ending it down the stretch.”
The loss puts the Muskies at 4-10 on the season overall and the team is still searching for their first win against an OAC opponent, standing at 0-7.
The ladies will get another chance to get that first conference win when they go on the road to Wilmington on Saturday.