OBU women wilt down the stretch

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
OBU's Jaylin Stapleton (10) breaks with the ball as teammates Kaylee Hurst (4) and Jenni Beebe (24) attempt to keep pace Monday night against Southern Nazarene at the Noble Complex.

Much like the season so far, frustration set in late for the Oklahoma Baptist University women's basketball squad Monday night at the Noble Complex.

The Bison managed just three fourth-quarter field goals and committed 14 second-half turnovers, 24 for the game, in suffering a 71-63 defeat at the hands of the Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm in Great American Conference action.

“Turnovers have been the key to our season. And it's not just the turnovers, but they are devastating because they're getting layups off them,” said OBU head coach Bo Overton. “I give SNU credit. They picked us up fullcourt and denied the entry passes.”

The Bison fell to 0-8 overall and 0-7 in the GAC as Overton is still seeking his first victory at the Bison helm.

Overton did see silver lining to Monday's game.

“At Southeastern Saturday, we had eight possessions out of about 80 where we missed an assignment or slipped on an assignment,” Overton said. “Tonight we had about two possessions in which that happened. We went from 7-8 to about 2-3 where we didn't execute. I just told them after the game to keep fighting like they have been. I'm proud of this team.”

The Crimson Storm had three players score in double figures, led by Payton Jones with 15, Kennedy Gillette with 14 and Abby Niehues with 11. SNU shot just 36.6% from the field for the game but had seven less turnovers (17) than OBU. The Crimson Storm also sank 11 of 15 free shots (73.3%) compared to the Bison's 12 of 21 (57.1%).

OBU shot at a 45.1% pace for the game, but was only 29.4% from outside the arc.

Charissa Price topped the Bison scoring effort with 16 points as she converted 6 of 9 shots (including two treys) to go with two assists and a pair of assists. Jaylin Stapleton followed with 14 points and was 8 of 10 from the line to go with four assists and two steals. Andreja Peciuraite chipped in 13 points to go with nine boards, two blocked shots, one steal and one assist.

The Bison enjoyed a 40-34 halftime cushion, fell behind three times but went on a 6-0 run in the final 2:14 of the third quarter to take a 56-52 advantage into the fourth.

OBU's Jacie Engler scored all four of her points off a pair of buckets during that stretch and Stapleton knocked down both of her free-throw attempts.

The Bison's three fourth-period field goal came within the first three minutes.

The game was tied at 61 after a Emily Monaghan basket with 4:19 left. From there both teams went scoreless for three minutes. Peciuraite's one-handed runner gave OBU its last lead at 63-61 with 1:20 remaining.

The Crimson Storm then closed the game with a 10-0 run in the final 1:09 as Monaghan and Payton Jones uncorked back-to-back treys to trigger the spurt. Jones and Gillette each sank two free shots in the final 22 seconds.

The Bison had two turnovers and a missed shot in the final 50 seconds of play.

SNU held a 40-39 edge in the rebounding department. Peciuraite was OBU's top rebounder with nine and Melissa Southard finished with eight.

The Bison will try to get on the winning track Thursday as they host Southwestern Oklahoma State at 5:30 p.m.