NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Albion College erased an 11-point first half deficit, but it was unable to protect a three-point lead with less than five minutes remaining in a 67-64 setback to Otterbein University on the second day of the Saint Mary's College Thanksgiving Classic.
Otterbein led 33-22 when Albion took a timeout with 4:26 left in the first half. Darian Payne and Brett de Bear led the Britons on a 10-2 run to trim the deficit to three, but Madi Miller scored the final four points of the half as Otterbein held a 39-32 lead at halftime.
Payne produced five points with two baskets and Emily DeWaters knocked down a jumper as Albion forged a tie at 39 three minutes into the second half. Albion edged ahead, 46-45, on de Bear's 3-point basket with just under 14 minutes to play.
Otterbein answered with a 10-0 run ignited by Hannah Day's 3-point basket and Tabatha Piper's old-fashioned three-point play and the Cardinals led 55-46 at the midpoint of the half.
Albion then went on a run of its own – 14-3 – to forge a 60-57 lead with 4:35 left. de Bear scored 10 of her career-high 29 points during the rally. She knocked down 10-of-13 shots from the field and all eight of her shots from the free throw line.
Albion went scoreless for nearly four minutes, getting a layup from Tanner Johnson with 47 seconds on the clock and a jumper by Taylor Nugent at the buzzer. Nugent joined de Bear in double figures with 10.
Albion returns home at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to challenge Calvin College in its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener.