February 13, 2013
The OBU Lady Bison (12-11) won an important conference game Thursday, February 7, when they went into Plainview, Texas and stole a win from Wayland Baptist University Lady (13-13), 46-43.
Earlier in the season, WBU made a trip up to the Noble Complex and ran away with a 74-45 victory. But the Lady Bison were determined not to let that happen again.
The Lady Bison started off the game very strongly. They made shots and played tough defense, holding WBU to 20 percent shooting in the first half. The Lady Bison played the entire first half this way, cultivating in a 9 point lead at halftime, 25-16.
But the game became very interesting in the second half. WBU made a run late in the half and tied the game at 39 with 4 minutes remaining. The Lady Bison then came up with a couple of big plays down the stretch. They scored five straight points in the next two minutes and held a 44-39 lead with two minutes to play.
But WBU was not ready to surrender the victory just yet. They scored four straight points and stopped the Lady Bison on a big possession, cutting the lead to 44-43.
With 30 seconds remaining in the game, WBU had the ball with a chance to take the lead. But their shot attempt in the lane was off the mark and OBU sophomore guard Charity Fowler claimed the rebound, being fouled immediately.
Fowler made both free throws and WBU missed its last second three point attempt, ending the game at a 46-43 win for the Lady Bison.
The loss against WBU earlier in the year fueled the Lady Bison's fire in this game and made them want the victory even more.
"As a team, we were so disappointed with our loss against WBU," OBU junior point guard Allie Brandenburg said, "we could not wait to get them on their home court. The game against WBU was so important for everyone, from our staff to each player. We knew we had so much to prove and proving it on their home floor was a great opportunity."
Finishing the game was also important to the team for many different reasons.
"It was a win that we definitely needed," Fowler said. "The win not only boosted our confidence but gave us that mindset that we are capable of finishing those close games."
Preparing for this game against WBU was a lot different than the last time these two teams met for the Lady Bison.
"We were more focused," OBU junior forward Lilia Inoubli. "We knew how important this win was going to be for us."
Everyone had to help out in some way for preparing for this game as well as in any conference game.
"We play in one of the toughest conferences in the nation," Brandenburg said. "Therefore, we have to be prepared for each and every game like we are playing the #1 team in the nation. Coach Bays put in some new defenses that we executed extremely well, and I really believe that is what won the game for us. The defenses we put in got Wayland out of their normal game plan and they didn't do a very good job adjusted to it."
Winning conference games is always important, and this one was no different.
"It gets some momentum going for us and is just a glimpse of how good we are," Fowler said. "We have so much talent on this team and the wins are proof of what we are capable of. Winning away games are harder so this win tops a lot of our home wins."
In order to get where the Lady Bison hope to be, however, they know it starts on the defensive end.
"It's always nice to get a W, it gets us going again and gets us believing in each other," Brandenburg said. "I believe our defense is going to carry us the rest of the season and seeing how good we did against Wayland shows a lot to us. We know we can defend anyone; we just have to do it for 40 minutes."