GOODWELL, Okla. (March 1, 2014) – Logan McKee recorded her second career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Oklahoma Christian closed its regular-season schedule with an 84-75 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State on Saturday afternoon at Oscar Williams Field House.
OC (15-11, 11-8 Heartland Conference) rallied from an early seven-point deficit against OPSU (1-25, 1-19) and led for the final 34 minutes, holding off every push by the Aggies.
Coming off a disappointing 50-49 loss at Newman (Kan.) a few days earlier, coach Stephanie Findley was relieved to see her team bounce back. She particularly liked OC’s 28-of-34 performance from the free-throw line, including a 10-of-10 effort from Roz Hamilton, who had 12 points and seven rebounds.
“The girls responded well to every run they made at us,” Findley said. “I was really pleased with our production at the free-throw line after failing to produce there at Newman. Logan had an outstanding game in all facets and Krista (Stevens) seems to be getting her groove back from the arc. Roz was huge at the free-throw line as well.”
Sarah Johnson scored 29 points to lead Panhandle State and Brittany Alavinejad added 17. Alavinejad’s 3-pointer 3½ minutes into the game gave the Aggies a 10-3 lead.
OC responded with a 12-0 run, highlighted by 3-pointers by McKee and Stevens, and never trailed again. The Lady Eagles stretched the lead to 35-18 before settling for a 40-35 halftime advantage, as Panhandle State closed the half on a 17-5 spurt.
A jumper by Johnson pulled the Aggies with 40-37 with 19:19 left, but the Lady Eagles rebuilt their lead to 14 points at 63-49 with 8:46 left.
Alavinejad and Haley Bonilla hit 3-pointers to cut OC’s lead to 66-60 with 5:27 left, but OC again had an answer. McKee hit a 3-pointer and assisted on a three-point play by Stevens. Sydney Hill followed with a pair of free throws with 3:01 left to make it 74-60 and the Aggies came no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Five Lady Eagles reached double figures in scoring – McKee, Hamilton, Hill (13 points, along with five steals), Stevens (12) and McKenzie Stanford (14). OC, the Heartland’s best rebounding team, posted a whopping 51-26 advantage on the boards.
OC had been scheduled to play St. Edward’s (Texas) on Sunday afternoon in a makeup game after the teams’ originally scheduled game on Dec. 5 had been postponed due to icy road conditions. But St. Edward’s didn’t make the trip to Oklahoma City after losing Saturday afternoon at Lubbock Christian (Texas), with potentially dangerous road conditions again cited as the reason why.
OC could have tied St. Edward’s for fifth place in the Heartland Conference standings had the Lady Eagles beaten the Hilltoppers.
Lubbock Christian finished atop the Heartland standings at 20-0. Texas A&M International, which was second with a 15-5 league record, was awarded the conference title because the Heartland has chosen not to allow teams in the NCAA Division II membership process (such as Lubbock Christian and OC) to win regular-season championships.
Newman and St. Mary’s (Texas) tied for third with 13-7 league marks, while St. Edward’s finished at 12-7.
OC’s focus now will turn to the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region tournament, which is set for March 12-15 in Bartlesville. The Lady Eagles won the regional title last year.