LIMA - After suffering a tough loss Saturday and undergoing some roster changes, the University of Northwestern Ohio women's basketball team viewed Monday's game against Marygrove College as a key jumping off point for the home stretch of the season.
The Lady Racers kicked it into high gear and lapped the Mustangs in an 84-58 win at Racer Gymnasium. The win moved UNOH back to .500 overall at 11-11.
As freshman Kelsey Burton moved into the starting lineup, the Lady Racers jumped out to a 17-5 lead, but they soon found themselves in a dogfight as Marygrove mounted a 10-0 run to close within two points.
The Mustangs (9-13) wouldn't get any closer and UNOH moved its lead to 12 points late in the first half before Marygrove finished the half with a 3-pointer.
Yet again in the second half, the Mustangs pulled themselves back into the game and trailed 47-43 less than four minutes into the half. The Lady Racers took control of the game with a 22-4 run over the next eight minutes; Shaye Warman hit a pair of 3-pointers and Francis had another during the run.
"It helps to get back onto that track again of getting a lead and finishing the game out," UNOH coach Kyle Menchhofer said. "I was extremely happy with their effort, especially in the play of Kelsey Burton."
Warman totaled 16 points and four steals. Puckett and Burton each pulled in a double-doubles, Puckett 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Burton with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"It's going to be very tough here the next few weeks, our schedule coming up," Menchhofer said. "This is the point of the season where the grind really begins. This is where you really need to work on their focus and getting them in condition to step up."
The Lady Racers finish up a brief three-game home stand with a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference matchup against Aquinas College. Menchhofer hopes the experience gained against Marygrove will serve the Lady Racers on Wednesday.
"They know what stakes are ahead of them," Menchhofer said. "The girls know what's in store for them. It's going to be a very physical game. (Monday) was a very physical game, so this was a great prep for our game on Wednesday."