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Jets ground Belles in NJCAA Region II first round

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor
Seminole State's Tatiana Gilford (right) shoots the basketball over Northern Oklahoma-Enid's Taelor Parkers (22) and Shelby Black (1) Wednesday night at OBU's Noble Complex.

Northern Oklahoma College-Enid outscored the Seminole State College Belles, 10-2, in the final 1:19 as the Jets soared to a 74-70 victory Wednesday night in the opening round of the NJCAA Region II Women's Basketball Tournament at Oklahoma Baptist University's Noble Complex.

Seminole State had established a 68-64 lead when after a free throw by SSC's Kryslyn Jones with 1:36 to go.

That's when a blackout hit. A blackout in the form of NOC-Enid's Shelby Black who sank back-to-back 3-point jumpers, the first with 1:19 to go and the second with 34.9 seconds remaining, putting the Jets up by a 70-68 count.

NOC-Enid then sealed the game at the free-throw stripe as Madelyn Hankins knocked down two with 22.1 seconds remaining. After the Belles' Mykayla Dumas pulled her team within 74-72 with two charity tosses with 13.4 seconds to go, Black then nailed two free throws of her own for the win with 13.4 seconds left as SSC managed to foul without any time moving off the clock.

The Belles tried one last-gasp desperation heave but it was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.

Black finished with a game-high 29 points as she converted 10-of-21 shots from the floor, including five treys. All three of her second-half 3-pointers came in the fourth quarter. Black also had five rebounds, three assists and a steal.

Lauren Wade added 15 points and eight boards for the winners and Hankins ended up with 11 points and a pair of assists.

Both teams struggled shooting from the field. The Jets were only 35.1% and 24% from 3-point land while SSC ended up 37.7% from the floor overall and only 25% from outside the arc.

The two teams were solid at the line as the Belles were 17-of-20 (85%) while NOC-Enid was 16-of-22 (72.7%).

Dumas led SSC with 18 points, Jones followed with 17, J'Sades Ainsworth added 15 and Sierra Gordon tacked on 12. Jones also drained three 3-point baskets in the process.

Ainsworth finished the night with a double-double as she also snatched 12 rebounds and collected a game-high five steals.

The Belles had a 42-36 rebounding advantage as Dumas and Gordon pulled down nine apiece while Jones supplied eight.

The Jets will face Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the semifinals Friday at 3 p.m.

NEO 69, EASTERN OKLAHOMA STATE 64

Five Lady Norse players got into double figures as balanced scoring won out over the bulk scoring of Eastern's Tijanae Simmons (24 points) and Deja Williams (18).

Kayla Shepperd led the way for NEO with 15 points. Ivvana Murillo was next with 14 and Dariann Myles finished with 13. Kiarra Brooks and Eliska Stevetakova chipped in 11 apiece.

The Lady Norse controlled the boards by a 42-34 margin as Murillo and Stevetakova each finished the night with a double-double. Murillo yanked down 13 rebounds and Stevetakova totaled 12.

Myles had four assists as NEO had 12 assists on its 23 field-goal makes.

The Lady Norse got the win despite having more than double the turnovers of the Lady Mountaineers, 15-7.

NEO shot 41.8% from the field for the game while limiting Eastern Oklahoma State to 28.2%. The Lady Mountaineers fared slightly better from outside the arc, 28.6% (6-of-21) for EOSC and 21.1% (4-of-19) for the Lady Norse.

The two teams shot well from the charity stripe – NEO was 19-of-25 (76%) and the Lady Mountaineers were 18-of-21 (85.7%).

The Lady Norse had an 18-8 advantage after one quarter and were up by a 36-23 lead at halftime. EOSC outscored NEO, 41-33, in the second half to make it a tight game.

MURRAY STATE 86, WESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE 79

Alaija Stewart rattled in five 3-point baskets and finished with 19 points Wednesday afternoon as the Murray State Lady Aggies held off a late charge from the Western Oklahoma State College Lady Pioneers.

Stewart was one of four Murray State players to reach double figures as Randaysha Hansen and Jillian Ingram tossed in 15 points each while Kes Reeves contributed 14. Hansen and Ingram also knocked down two 3-point shots apiece. Macy Smith canned 3-of-4 shots from 3-point land in finishing with nine points.

The Lady Aggies, 19-12 on the season, shot 42.1% from the field for the game and drained 40% (12-of-30) of their 3-point tries. They also nailed 81.3% (26-of-32) of their free throws.

Meanwhile, Western Oklahoma State hit at a 41.3% clip from the field, but was only 7-of-23 (30.4%) from outside the arc. The Lady Pioneers attempted just nine free shots and made six (66.7%).

Western Oklahoma State held a 43-41 edge on the boards as Marquetta Jackson-Rogers led the way with 10 rebounds to go with 17 points for a double-double. Jamara Levy was the game's high scorer with 25 points to go with seven assists and two steals.

Three other Lady Pioneers got to double figures with Delecia Brown tallying 16, Tabitha Armstrong finishing with 11 and Dejahnar Chatman tacking on 10.

Murray State appeared to run away after outscoring Western Oklahoma State, 26-13, in the second quarter in creating a 44-30 cushion at the break. It was 66-51 through three quarters before the Lady Pioneers made a magnificent comeback, even slicing the deficit to four.

But the Lady Aggies held on and will face Redlands Community College in the semifinals Friday at 1 p.m.

REDLANDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE 68, CONNORS STATE 51

The sophomore trio of Christina Jenkins, Reneya Hopkins and Kiara Lovings scored in double figures in the tournament opener on Wednesday.

Jenkins had a game-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor and 3-4 foul shots to go with a pair of steals. Hopkins ended up with 16 points, including one trey, on 7-of-15 shooting and Lovings chipped in 13 points and four assists.

The Lady Cougars shot 43.5% from the floor and withstood a 17.6% shooting from 3-point range. Redlands was only 11-of-19 (57.9%) from the charity stripe.

On the boards, the Lady Cougars held a 40-37 edge with Karyssa Jackson corralling 12 rebounds to go with her eight points, two steals and an assist. Mariah Jones handed out a game-leading six assist to go with her eight points and a steal for the winners.

Hopkins recorded a game-high four steals for Redlands as the Lady Cougars totaled 13 as a team.

Redlands, which improved to 24-5 on the season, advances to Friday's semifinals against the Murray State College, which defeated Western Oklahoma State College, 86-79.

Lauren Wright paced the Cowgirls with 13 points and teammate De'Asia Reid had 10.

However, Connors State managed to shoot only 30.4% overall, 29.4% from outside the arc (5-of-17) and 75% (12-of-16) from the free-throw stripe.

The Cowgirls saw their season come to an end at 20-12.