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Cooke carves up OWU, but Battling Bishops best Owls

DELAWARE, Ohio — Kenyon College’s Claudia Cooke had her way with Ohio Wesleyan University on Wednesday night, but the Battling Bishops bested the Owls by a score of 76-34. The victory clinched a sweep of the series for OWU, who defended their home court.

Cooke led the Owls with a game-high 20-point outing, scoring six points in three of four quarters. The output was her best since posting back-to-back games with 20-plus points in January, and it was the fifth time the senior has surpassed the 20-point threshold this season. Cooke did her damage on an efficient 9-for-12 shooting performance, posting a season-best single-game shooting percentage and tying for a season-high in made field goals.

Unfortunately for Kenyon, the offense could not muster up much beyond their senior center. The rest of the roster combined for 14 points and shot 6-for-29, a 20.7 percent clip. Mikayla Rudolph connected on two shots for four points, while Alyssa Gest (3), Anissa Hardy (3), Raine Hammel (2), and Melana Pomerants (2) each made one field goal. Hardy led the Owls with a game-high eight rebounds, while Megan Lieb grabbed five and Cooke snagged four.

The Battling Bishops (18-4, 9-2 NCAC), who maintained their No. 2 spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) standings, led wire-to-wire after scoring first and amassing an early 12-2 lead. The Owls held OWU to just 15 first-quarter points, but the home team broke loose to outscore Kenyon 48-16 over the second and third quarters. By the time the Owls posted a team-best 13 points in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to reverse the deficit.

Ohio Wesleyan struggled from the three-point (3-16) and free throw (9-16) lines, but the Battling Bishops still managed to shoot 48.5 percent for the game (32-66). Rebounding their own misses helped OWU gain a 16-7 edge in offensive rebounds, a 15-3 advantage in second-chance points, and a 46-22 margin in paint points. The home team also won the turnover battle 29-5 with 19 steals and turned the Kenyon miscues into 36 points off turnovers and 20 fastbreak points. Lauren Denison (19), Kasey Schipfer (15), and Alyssa Griner (13) scored in double figures, while Elizabeth Homan dished out 10 assists.

Kenyon (3-20, 1-11 NCAC)  has two contests left on its season slate. The Owls play their penultimate game at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, at Denison University before returning home the following weekend, when Kenyon will celebrate Senior Day and host Hiram College.

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