Lady Eagles hold off Newman, torch Panhandle

McKenzie Stanford forces her way down the court in last season's matchup against St. Edward's University.
Photo by Abby Bellow

McKenzie Stanford forces her way down the court in last season's matchup against St. Edward's University. Photo by Abby Bellow

Sophomore Addy Clift scored a career-high 33 points as the Oklahoma Christian University women’s basketball team shot more than 40 percent from the field and behind the 3-point line to defeat Newman University 86-79 Thursday in the Nest.

Despite finding themselves down by eight in the second half, Clift went 8-10 from behind the 3-point arc and had four steals, while Senior McKenzie Stanford put up 29 points and 12 rebounds to help the Lady Eagles force the comeback.

Clift’s eight 3-pointers put her in a tie for second place on the Heartland Conference’s single-game list for 3-point shooting. Her 33 points also tied for the most scored by a Heartland Conference player this season.

Stanford recorded her seventh double-double of the season, and her fourth in her last five games. She shot 83.3 percent, or 15-18, from the free-throw line, which tied her for fourth on the Heartland’s all-time single-game chart for free-throws.

In a game that saw 11 lead changes and seven ties, Newman took a 23-20 lead at the beginning of the second quarter and held a 40-35 advantage halftime.

The Lady Jets continued to lead 63-57 through the end of the third quarter. Oklahoma Christian opened the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run to grab the lead 68-67 with 8:02 left in the game.

A pair of consecutive baskets put Newman back on top 71-70, but with 6:06 remaining Stanford hit two free-throws to put the Lady Eagles back up 72-71.

Twice in the final minutes Newman pulled the game back within a single possession, but Stanford managed a 3-point conversion with 30.7 seconds left.

Senior Sarah Parker, who added 14 points and six rebounds for the Lady Eagles, made a pair of free-throws with 17.3 seconds left, giving her team a 85-77 advantage.

On Saturday, the Lady Eagles shot 58.2 percent from the field and every player on the roster scored at least one point as they defeated Oklahoma Panhandle State University 96-60 in the Nest.

Clift and Stanford both scored 19 points and Stanford added six rebounds as Oklahoma Christian swept another season series. This was the Lady Eagles’ second-best shooting performance of the season.

“It’s always great when we play like that,” Head Coach Stephanie Findley said. “I’m proud of the girls for playing so hard and I was glad to see that they worked the ball well together.”

Oklahoma Christian trailed once early in the game before leading by as many as 42 points. The Lady Eagles out rebounded Panhandle State 39-34.

Clift made 5-8 attempts from behind the arc against the Aggies. Stanford shot 6-9 from the field and brought in six rebounds. Both Lady Eagles did so in 23 and 24 minutes, respectively.

Parker added 15 points, tallied four steals and went 7-7 from the free-throw line. Junior Audrey Hayes was the Lady Eagles’ fourth double-figure scorer as she put up 12 points and six rebounds.

Freshman Megan Shelton scored nine points, senior Emma Gade had five points and five rebounds, junior Hope Dawkins had five points and tied her career high in blocked shots with four and freshman Tori Connell added a 3-pointer to give the Lady Eagles their biggest lead of the night, 94-52, with 2:27 remaining.

The Lady Eagles will travel to St. Edward’s University next Saturday, Feb. 4 to face the Lady Hilltoppers at 1 p.m.

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information Office.

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