Lady Eagles stay classy, edge out War Hawks
Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
The Oklahoma Christian University women’s basketball team extended their winning streak to five games after last weekend’s home matchups.
On Thursday, Feb. 7 the Lady Eagles took on the McMurry University War Hawks in a back-and-forth battle until the final minutes, when they pulled away to seal the win 65-54.
Despite the victory, the Lady Eagles struggled from behind the arc, shooting just 16.7 percent from the 3-point line compared to McMurry’s 36.8 percent.
However, their success and focus in other aspects of the game kept them ahead.
Senior Roz Hamilton offered her insight as to how the Lady Eagles grabbed the win in spite of their lack of long-range shooting.
“When you’re playing more focused, some of those shots you wouldn’t normally hit just seem to start falling,” Hamilton said. “So even though our 3-game is a little off, I think our increased focus is making up for it in other areas.”
Hamilton finished Thursday’s game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, followed by senior Katy O’Steen with 15 points and six rebounds.
Saturday the Lady Eagles held a “pink out” game to support the Kay Yow foundation for breast cancer awareness. The St. Edward’s Hilltoppers traveled to the Nest to engage the Lady Eagles in a rough game.
Within the first 10 minutes of the competition, St. Edward’s Erika Rousculp was ejected from the game for flagrantly punching Hamilton. Their physical play didn’t stop there, but Oklahoma Christian didn’t let it get to them.
According to O’Steen, a victory with character made it even sweeter.
“I’m just so proud of the girls for not retaliating and showing them that we could win with class,” O’Steen said.
Until the ejection, Oklahoma Christian had struggled to generate anything on either end. But the ejection sparked a run, and the Lady Eagles never looked back. Head women’s basketball coach Stephanie Findley said the physicality fueled her girls.
“[The team] believes in their ability regardless of what the other team is doing,” Findley said. “I think the punch that was thrown at Roz made them focus even more on what it was going to take to beat them. Apparently, all they wanted to do was wrestle. Fortunately, playing with poise won for us.”
Both teams struggled from the field, but with nearly eight minutes left in the game, Oklahoma Christian buckled down and made 13 free throws to secure their victory 55-43.
O’Steen led the Lady Eagles with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman Sydney Hill added 12 points while sophomore Logan McKee contributed seven.
The Lady Eagles have a week off before their next set of games, during which they plan to fine-tune some areas of their offense.
“Our execution and timing can be much sharper,” Findley said. “And our 3-point shooting needs to consistently improve.”
With a week full of practice ahead, Hamilton said she is still confident in the upcoming games because of the amount of hard work and competition that each girl puts forth every day.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, The Lady Eagles fell to the Dustdevils of Texas A&M International in Laredo, TX, 68-70. The Lady Eagles took a four point lead at halftime with a 3-point shot made at the buzzer by junior Krista Stevens. However, the Dustdevils gained momentum in the second half and took a six point lead with four minutes left. The Lady Eagles closed the gap but were unable to regain the lead. Sophomore Roz Hamilton led Oklahoma Christian with 20 points and 18 rebounds followed by freshman Sydney Hill with 16 points, sophomore Logan McKee with 13 and O'Steen with 11. The Lady Eagles will take on St. Mary's in San Antonio, TX tomorrow at 2 pm. followed by a trip to San Antonio to play St. Mary’s University on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.
The Lady Eagles will return home on Feb. 28 for their last set of regular season games.