To paraphrase the Good Book, the defense and rebounding were willing while the offense was weak for the Bethel College women’s basketball team in a 40-37 loss to Ottawa University Wednesday in KCAC play at Thresher Gym.

The loss puts Bethel four games behind McPherson for the eighth and final post-season spot with three games to play. Ottawa remains two games back.

Bethel was hampered by 33 turnovers, 25 unforced, but held a 49-23 rebounding advantage.

“We were definitely a little stagnant,” Bethel assistant coach Nicole Johnson said. “Give credit to Ottawa. They took us out of some things with that zone. They’re a really good defensive team. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find ways to score. We’ll come into practice tomorrow and try and get that rhythm back. Defensively, we executed really well. We lost them a couple of times. They have some really good players on the floor inside and out. They can be tough to guard. I was happy with how hard we played. We just didn’t find enough plays down the stretch.”

Ottawa, 9-16 overall and 7-12 in KCAC play, was led by Leslie Speer with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Jade Brown led Bethel with 14 points and 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Abby Schmidt was held to nine points, but had 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. Schmidt is now 43 rebounds shy of the single-season school record with three games remaining.

“I can’t tell you how hard Jade played tonight,” Johnson said. “She scored well. She was aggressive on the boards. We take a lot of the stuff Abby does for granted. We just weren’t able to make plays down the stretch, and a lot of that is because of Ottawa’s defense.”

Bethel trailed 7-2 early, took a time out and made an 10-3 run. A Brown layup with about three seconds left in the period put Bethel up 14-12.

Bethel held Ottawa scoreless for the first 5:42 minutes in the second quarter, scoring the first six points of the period. An Avery Lewman free throw was the sole Ottawa point in the period as Bethel led 20-13 at the half.

Each team managed just one basket in the first 3:15 of the third quarter. Bethel led by as many as nine in the period. Ottawa hit a three-point play with 22.5 seconds left in the period to get Ottawa within four. After a BC turnover, a Jenna Kramer trey at the buzzer got Ottawa within one, 26-25.

Jessica King hit a layup with 8:09 in the fourth quarter to put Ottawa in the lead. Kramer followed with a trey after a pair of missed BC free throws. J’Daijon Sumpter broke the Bethel scoring drought with a jumper with 6:33 remaining. A pair of Brown free throws got Bethel within two. Lewman answered with two free throws with 2:41 to play.

With 1:58 to play, Brown hit one of two free throws. Schmidt rebounded the miss and put it in to get the Threshers within one.

Bethel got the ball back with a chance to take the lead, but turned the ball over. After trading baskets, King hit a layup with 25.2 seconds remaining to put Ottawa back up by three. Brown countered with a reverse layup with 18.5 seconds to play.

Kaitlyn Hughes hit two free throws with 15.3 seconds to play. Bethel took two shots in the remaining time that missed.

Bethel falls to 9-18, 5-14 in KCAC play. Bethel plays at 3 p.m. Saturday at York. The Panthers are 4-21, 1-18 in KCAC play, after a 71-60 loss to McPherson. Bethel beat York 69-50 Jan. 3.

“It’s a tough place to play,” Johnson said. “They don’t have a lot of wins, but they are a tough team to play. We need to be aware of that. We went to their place last year and lost. We just want to play well down the stretch.”

OTTAWA (9-16, 7-12 KCAC) — Madi McAvoy 1-4 0-0 3, Jenna Kramer 2-8 0-0 6, Jaiden Offutt 0-2 0-0 0, Avery Lewman 0-3 3-4 3, Kelsey Hendricks 0-0 0-0 0, Emmalee Rose 2-5 1-1 6, Jennifer Anthony 0-4 0-0 0, Katlyn Hughes 1-6 2-2 4, Leslie Speer 4-9 2-2 10, Jessica King 4-13 0-0 8. TOTALS 14-54 8-9 40.

BETHEL (9-18, 5-14 KCAC) — Karlie Schroeder 0-2 0-0 0, Ciara McKinney 1-2 0-0 2, Riley Schmieder 1-5 1-2 3, J'Daijon Sumpter 2-3 2-2 6, Jade Brown 5-14 4-6 14, Kelsey Potter 1-9 0-0 3, Allexis Bowman 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Schmidt 4-8 1-4 9, Kylee Schunn 0-0 0-0 0, Erica Ebenkamp 0-2 0-0 0, Caitlin Williams 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14-45 8-14 37.



Total fouls — OU 13, BC 16. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — OU 4-18 (McAvoy 1-3, Kramer 2-5, Offutt 0-2, Lewman 0-1, Rose 1-3, Anthony 0-2, Hughes 0-2), BC 1-15 (Schroeder 0-2, Schmieder 0-2, Brown 0-1, Potter 1-8, Ebenkamp 0-2). Rebounds — OU 23 (King 8), BC 49 (Schmidt 15). Assists — OU 10 (King 3), BC 6 (Schmieder 3). Turnovers — OU 18 (Hughes 6), BC 33 (Brown 11). Blocked shots — OU 3 (King 2), BC 6 (Schmidt 6). Steals — OU 8 (Hughes 2, King 2), BC 7 (Potter 2).