November 18, 2010
The Oklahoma Baptist University women’s basketball team’s home fans experienced bitterness of their first loss after a 49 home game winning streak. The Lady Bison had not lost any home games since Feb. 22, 2007. Saturday’s homecoming loss was against Evangel University, 65-75.
The Lady Bison failed to lock up the back court at the second half; the Lady Crusaders made eight three pointers out of 11 attempts.
Gabriell Mattox led the Lady Bison with 17 points and four rebounds. Samantha Smith contributed 16 points with nine rebounds, followed by Lauren Crenshaw’s 13 points and three rebounds. However, the Lady Bison had 15 turnovers at the first half and totaled 20 turnovers in the game.
The Lady Crusader had nine three pointers during the game, one from the first half and eight from the second half. On defense, the Lady Bison couldn’t defend the Lady Crusaders’ three point shooter, Caitlin Russell, who made seven three pointers for the game.
The game was competitive. The two teams were even at the first half, 25-25. The beginning of the second half was also tight. The Lady Bison scored the first points for the second half from Allie Brandenburg and Smith’s free throws.
The Lady Bison took a 28-25 lead one minute later. But it was the last lead for the Lady Bison. The Lady Crusaders’ three-pointer parade started right after the Lady Bison’s lead. Russell made her first three-pointer at the third minute, and then knocked down three three-pointers in the next two minutes.
The Lady Crusaders flipped the game to 42-36 with Russell’s shots. Russell’s three-pointer parade was continuing. Russell added two more shots from the arch to run away from the Lady Bison. With 11 minutes left, the Lady Bison were down 10 points, 43-53.
The Lady Bison didn’t give up the game easily. They combated the Lady Crusaders’ outside shooters with Smith’s inside offense, and decreased the gap to five points with Mattox’s paint-zone two points. For the Lady Bison, it was an important moment to catch up the gap and turn over the lead.
But the Lady Bison once again allowed Russell’s to regain momentum for the Lady Crusaders by getting hot from arch with four minutes left.
The Lady Bison were down again eight points, 54-62. The Lady Bison continued to battle back in the game, but the Lady Crusaders kept knocking in more baskets and adding more points. Brandenburg made a three pointer with one minute left but it was too late to change the result.
“The first half wasn’t a good performance for us to take care of the basketball. We had 15 turnovers in the first half,” Head Coach John McCullough said. “We had some good moments. Gabriell was really good in the second half. But we just couldn’t find no.23 [Russell]. She made some big bombs out there.”
Earlier in the week, the Lady Bison also fell to Langston University in overtime, 79-82.
Now 1-2 on the season, the Lady Bison will travel to Jackson, Tennessee to play at the Rotary Classic.