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Lady Eagles fall to third in Heartland Conference

The Lady Eagles’ basketball team dropped to third in the Heartland Conference after a 66-57 loss to Texas A&M International University on Saturday.

The Lady Eagles shot just under 30 percent from the field, going 22 of 78 from the paint and 3 for 24 behind the arc in their tie-breaking matchup.

“Turnovers killed us, and not hitting shots,” Sydney Hill said. “We still played hard, we always do, but when you can’t hit shots, you turn the ball over and you give the other team scoring opportunities, it’s hard to win games.”

Two Lady Eagles ended the game with a double-double. McKenzie Stanford put up 14 points and 11 rebounds while Aisha Martin recorded her first career double-double against the Dustdevils, contributing 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Eagles.

Hill added 13 points and 9 rebounds, while Daisha Gonzaque had three steals and Sarah Parker grabbed eight rebounds. The Lady Eagles controlled the boards throughout the game, outrebounding the Dustdevils 53-37.

“We moved the ball well and executed getting good open shots,” Hannah Holasek said. “However, a lot of them didn’t fall the way we wanted them to. TAMIU’s defense really covered the paint so it made it difficult to get the ball inside to the posts.”

Despite leading by as much as eight in the second quarter, the Dustdevils cut the Oklahoma Christian lead to two as the teams entered halftime. TAMIU took control of the game in the second half, outscoring the Lady Eagles 21-10 in the third quarter and forcing 18 turnovers.

Oklahoma Christian rallied in the fourth quarter, overcoming a 10-point deficit to force the game into overtime. Parker’s layup with 1:53 left in the game tied the score at 50 while a shot by Hill with two seconds left in regulation forced the Lady Eagle’s second straight overtime bid.

The additional five minutes proved to be different than those against St. Mary’s last week, as the Lady Eagles were outscored 14-5 during overtime.

“I think we just ran out of gas,” Hill said. “The whole game was frustrating because we were shooting so poorly from the field, so when overtime came, we didn’t have enough left to knock down shots we normally would.”

The loss gave the Dustdevils sole position of second place in conference play and put Oklahoma Christian in third with an overall record of 10-11 and a conference record of 7-4.

“We just have to flush this lost,” Hill said. “Yes, it’s upsetting because we wanted to hold the number two spot by ourselves, however, we just have to get focused and mentally prepare for Thursday. Everyone knows that’s the toughest team to beat. We almost did it at home last year, though, which gives me the confidence we can beat them here this year.”

The Lady Eagles will return to the Nest to face undefeated conference leader Lubbock Christian University on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“We have nothing to lose and they have everything to lose,” Holasek said. “If we come out ready to play as a team and execute, then we have a great opportunity to make Oklahoma Christian LCU’s first lost.”

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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