Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
The Oklahoma Christian University women’s basketball team lost their two final road games of the regular season last weekend.
On Thursday, Feb. 21 the Oklahoma Christian Lady Eagles took on the Dustdevils of Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas.
Assistant women’s basketball coach Lisa Chenoweth described playing against such a tough team after a long two days of travel.
“It’s never easy for anyone to immediately get in the zone after being on a bus for three hours that day and seven the day before,” Chenoweth said. “But I think the way our girls came out playing in the first half showed they were ready to battle no matter what.”
In the first half, freshman Sydney Hill shot 100 percent (5-5) from the field, going 4-4 from the 3-point line. Chenoweth described Hill’s presence as a shock factor since she was out with an injury the first time the Lady Eagles played TAMIU at home.
“I just felt really comfortable, and my teammates were making great passes to get me open,” Hill said. “I was just confident they were going to go in.”
Hill was not the only one with a few 3-point daggers during that half. Senior Krista Stevens also nailed a long three to give the Lady Eagles a four-point lead going into the second half, 42-38.
However, the Dustdevils were relentless and the Lady Eagles could not maintain their outside shooting percentage from the first half throughout the remainder of the game.
With just over two minutes left in the game, TAMIU got hot and built a small lead over the Lady Eagles, 63-70.
The Dustdevils did not score again, as Oklahoma Christian made a final run to try and come back.
Senior Katy O’Steen, junior Roz Hamilton and Hill all made crucial baskets in the final minutes to put the Lady Eagles down by two, 68-70, with just a few seconds left.
In the final seconds, head women’s basketball coach Stephanie Findley drew up a play to give O’Steen a last-second 3-point attempt to win the game, but the Lady Eagles were unable to claim a buzzer-beating victory. The final score remained at 68-70.
Hamilton led the game in scoring and rebounding with 20 points and 18 boards. Hill finished with 16 points, followed by junior Logan McKee with 13 and O’Steen with 11.
Saturday’s game was a different story. On Feb. 23, the Lady Eagles fell to the Rattlers of St. Mary’s University, 57-76.
“We just weren’t on top of our game during that one,” Chenoweth said. “We couldn’t take care of the ball, and our shots weren’t falling like they were on Thursday.”
The Lady Eagles went 16-56 (28.6 percent) from the field on Saturday afternoon, unable to overcome the Rattlers’ 29-69 (42 percent) from the field.
Senior Krista Stevens attributed the loss to the shooting percentage in the first half.
“You’re definitely not going to win a game when you only make five shots in a half or when you go 2-25 from the 3-point line for the game,” Stevens said. “We literally couldn’t hit a shot.”
However, the Lady Eagles were able to pick up the pace in the second half and scored the same amount of points as their opponents, 39-39.
Oklahoma Christian also cut down on their turnovers in the second half, tallying only nine compared to the first half’s 16.
“We did a lot better in the second half in just about every area of our game,” Chenoweth said. “We were scoring more and using our possessions instead of just throwing the ball away, but we just couldn’t fill the hole we dug in the first half.”
Senior Andee Wayne led the team in scoring with 14 points off of 6-7 shooting, followed by Hamilton with 11 and O’Steen with nine.
The Lady Eagles will host the University of Texas-Permian Basin tomorrow at 2 p.m. while honoring their seniors in the final game of the regular season.