Southern Nazarene got a game high 25 points from Khady Ngom and 21 from Katie Snodgrass as the Crimson Storm defeated the Lady Bison 68-62 Saturday night in Bethany. Much like last years game in which OBU was just one shot away from tying the game, the Lady Bison stayed with the defending national champions.
The sixth-ranked Crimson Storm never led by more than nine as they improved their overall record to 16-3 and 5-2 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. OBU, who has not one a game at SNU since the Sawyer Center was built, falls to 13-4 on the year and 2-4 in the SAC.
"We just didn't take care of the basketball in crucial situations," said Head Coach John McCullough. "We didn't do a good job with their press. They just hit the shots that we wanted them to take. We made stops on the defensive end we just couldn't shut them down."
The good news for the Lady Bison is their treacherous four-game road trip has come to an end. OBU traveled to Lubbock Christian, Wayland Baptist, Oklahoma Christian, and Southern Nazarene. The Lady Bison were 1-3 with their only win coming against OC.
"Well the hardest part of the schedule is over," said McCullough. "We still have five tough games at home and I think well be more confident at home. This team is not a team that gets to comfortable at home so I think we will play well especially with the amount of confidence we have now. We just have to approach it one game at a time. We really think we can pull off five straight wins right now."
OBU now prepares for a five game home stand and a chance to move back into the top 25 and into the top of half of the conference.
OBU opened up the first half with a 3-0 lead, but SNU's Katie Snodgrass erased the Lady Bison lead with a three. Snodgrass' three started a 6-0 run for the Crimson Storm.
With 9:39 left in the half Rachel Heins put the Lady Bison on top 17-15 on a basket that started a series of seven straight lead changes over the next 4:43. Jamie Morgan and Khady Ngom helped put SNU up five at 31-26 with 2:44 left in the half. Rachel Heins cut the Lady Bison deficit down to three with 18 seconds left to play to make it 33-30 at the end of the half.
In the second half the Crimson Storm hit 19 of their 20 free throw attempt and SNU needed every one of them to hold off OBU.
"That's what wins games in the final minutes is free throws," said McCullough. "SNU did a great job down the stretch and the was the key to their win, but despite all their free throws we still had chance to win the game."
The Lady Bison came with in one three times against SNU with the last time coming with 4:47 left to play. However the Lady Bison never could overcome the hump as SNU hit free throw after free throw down the stretch.
Rachel Heins was the leading scorer for the Lady Bison with 13 points. Shannon Plumb was the only other OBU player in double figures as she followed up her 18-point performance at OC with a 12 point outing at SNU.