Bison women notch first victory of the season

Oklahoma Baptist Athletics

OKLAHOMA CITY - At the end of the day, the finals stats and the final numbers don't matter. There was only one job for the Oklahoma Baptist women's basketball team as they renewed a rivalry with Oklahoma Christian inside the Eagles' Nest.

Win.

The Bison got tough and gritty in the second half as they rode hot shooting in the second quarter to gain a lead and shot an impressive 20 of 23 (87%) at the line, including 15 makes in the second half, to hold off the Lady Eagles and earn their first win of the season, 61-58, on Monday.

The Bison shot 18 of 54 (33%) from the field and 5 of 18 (28%) from deep. OBU was especially good in the second quarter as it shot 8 of 14 (57%) from the field.

On the other end, OC shot 23 of 66 (35%) from the field and 9 of 30 (30%) from deep. The Lady Eagles were able to only get to the line four times. The two squads were even at 40 apiece in rebounds while the Bison turned it over 21 times to the Lady Eagles' 20.

Kalifa Ford finished with 20 points to go with eight boards while Jaylin Stapleton added 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as well as two steals. Peciuraite scored 10 to go with eight rebounds while Melissa Southard scored four to go with eight boards and two steals.

Charissa Price picked away three steals to go with four points and four assists while Malou Savanna and Kaylee Hurst each knocked down a three. Kayla Highfill also had a pair of steals.

It was a slow start for each team as no one could get anything going offensively. Andreja Peciuraite knocked down a short jumped while Savanna buried a 3-pointer. A pair of Peciuraite free throws evened the game at seven midway through the first quarter. 

The Lady Eagles scored the next seven points to close the quarter, expanding the lead to nine in the second quarter to make it 16-7.

Ford entered the game and began to get hot as she knocked down shots and pulled down boards to chip at the deficit. Down 20-12, the Bison rattled off a 11-3 run behind five points from Stapleton and a run from Ford.

OC knocked down a 3-pointer to move back ahead by three, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Price and Ford gave OBU a 29-26 lead at the break.

The Lady Eagles pulled ahead 34-30 early in the third quarter, but OBU went to work hard inside the paint as six straight points put the Bison back ahead by two. 

Ford scored eight points in the first six minutes of the third quarter to keep OBU even. With the game even at 40, the Bison scored seven of the last nine points behind a Hurst 3-pointer and buckets from Stapleton and Ford to build a 47-42 lead going into the fourth. The Bison held the Lady Eagles scoreless the final 2:28 of the quarter.

That would translate into an 8-0 run going into the fourth quarter and a 13-2 run overall as the Bison constantly went right at the Lady Eagles and drew fouls, scoring their first seven points of the fourth quarter on free throws.

The Bison led by as many as 11 and held off a furious Lady Eagle rally in the fourth as they cut it as close as three in the final minute.

Tyra Peck led OC with 17 points and two steals while Emma Epperly had 15. Brooklin Bain pulled down 11 boards while Maddison Collyer had seven points, eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals.

The Bison return to action on Thursday as they travel to Alva to battle Northwestern Oklahoma State. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. at Percefull Fieldhouse.