Hamilton shines as Lady Eagles roll past Southern Nazarene 79-60

OC's Roz Hamilton (with ball) eludes Southern Nazarene's Aminata Fall on her way to a layup in the Lady Eagles' win.
OC's Roz Hamilton (with ball) eludes Southern Nazarene's Aminata Fall on her way to a layup in the Lady Eagles' win.

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 12, 2013) – Double-digit wins – really, wins of any type – for Oklahoma Christian have been hard to come by through the years against Southern Nazarene. But for the second time in as many years, OC celebrated Tuesday after a lopsided triumph over the Crimson Storm.

Senior forward Roz Hamilton had 21 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots as the Lady Eagles jumped to a quick double-digit lead that they held the rest of the way en route to a 79-60 win at the Eagles’ Nest.

OC (2-0) now has won three straight games over SNU (1-1), the Lady Eagles’ longest streak in the series since they won four in a row during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. One of the wins in the current streak came last March, when OC beat the Crimson Storm 73-64 in the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region title game in Bartlesville, one week before SNU won the NCCAA title.

But unlike that game, which was tight throughout, OC had a relatively easy time of it on Tuesday despite shooting just 31.3 percent from the field. The Lady Eagles limited SNU to 31.6 percent field-goal shooting, outscored the Crimson Storm 24-7 from the free-throw line and won the turnover battle in a big way – SNU had 22, OC only eight.

“I think we rebounded really well early,” OC coach Stephanie Findley said. “We didn’t give them second-shot opportunities. We were getting some offensive boards and we were forcing some turnovers there early in the game, too, that gave us some easy baskets to pull out to that cushion.”

Hamilton went up against SNU’s standout post player, 6-foot-4 Aminata Fall, and played one of the best games of her career. Fall had 16 points and 18 rebounds but went 7-of-20 from the field as she had to deal not only with Hamilton but with 6-foot-3 Andee Wayne, who had 10 points and seven rebounds.

“I think she was fired up, wasn’t she?” Findley said of Hamilton. “I didn’t say anything special to her (to get her motivated). She just took the challenge of going up against Aminata and Southern Nazarene. She wanted to play well tonight. She came out fired up and she did the job.”

The Lady Eagles trailed only once, at 1-0 in the opening minute. Hamilton scored OCs’ first six points and after SNU’s Abby Boyd hit a 3-pointer at the 16:48 mark of the first half, the Crimson Storm went more than nine minutes without another basket.

OC wasn’t shooting well, either, but the Lady Eagles still went on a 12-0 run. Hamilton’s layup at the 9:35 mark made it 18-6 and OC led by no less than 10 points the rest of the way, extending its advantage to as many as 20 points after halftime. That surprised Findley.

“I kept waiting for that roll that they were going to get on where they throw in a lot of threes … and they  never really kind of got on that roll,” Findley said. “They had a couple where they’d get them in succession but they couldn’t follow up on that. I was a little surprised, but I was happy with our effort and that we kept our energy up on defense, even though we weren’t shooting so well ourselves.”

Sydney Hill overcame early shooting struggles to scored 16 points and record six assists and four steals for OC. Logan McKee also scored 10 points for the Lady Eagles.

Callee Cox led SNU with 20 points but went just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. The Crimson Storm finished 5-of-10 from behind the arc. Kristin Milster added 10 point, seven rebounds and five assists for SNU.