Women's basketball: Oklahoma Baptist Bison trump Midwestern State Mustangs, 91-70

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star

Perfection is impossible to achieve, but the Oklahoma Baptist University women's basketball team made a good run at it Tuesday night at the Noble Complex.

Playing perhaps one of their best games in the Bo Overton one-plus year coaching era, the Bison got off to a quick start, shot nearly 50% for the game, nailed 31-of-37 free throws and played relentless defense in creating 17 steals and forcing 26 turnovers in a 91-70 victory over Midwestern State.

“We got off to a great start and it gave us confidence,” said Overton. “We got to the basket early and made shots.”

OBU, 2-2 on the young season, held a commanding 44-31 rebounding advantage and shot at a 47.5% pace overall, including 4-of-6 from 3-point land.

Leading the way was junior Kalifa Ford, who fired in 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line to go with eight rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. She accomplished that feat in playing just more than 20 minutes in the contest after drawing three first-half fouls.

OBU's Kalifa Ford (34) puts up a shot against Midwestern State Tuesday night.

“I feel like we defended and played like a team. We're coming together and completing each other. This week, we were emphasizing coming together as a team and the last two games we've shown that,” Ford said. “I wanted to create a spark and energy. I feel like I needed to step up and be a spark. Everybody came out and performed. Everyone worked and hustled.”

Three others reached double figures in scoring for OBU as Sierra Copeland, off the bench, tallied 11 to go with seven boards in just over 11 minutes of play. Jaylin Stapleton and Kendall Parker tossed in 10 points apiece.

Oklahoma Baptist's Jaylin Stapleton (right) attempts to drive the basketball against Midwestern State's Morgan Lenahan (24) Tuesday night at the Noble Complex.

Andreja Peciuraite tacked on nine points and eight boards and Mallory Lockhart, behind three 3-point jumpers, also contributed nine points to the Bison attack.

OBU also excelled in the assist department as 18 of its 28 field goals came off helpers with Payton Taylor handing out four to go with her eight points. Lockhart, Stapleton, Chambers and Parker each finished with two assists.

Jill Leslie chipped in six points, six boards and two steals for the Bison. Leslie is the daughter of Midwestern State men's coach Justin Leslie, who was in attendance.

Looking ahead in the season:Shooting, size could boost Oklahoma Baptist University women's basketball

Midwestern State's Mustangs shot 41.5% for the field, 38.9% from long range and 64.3% from the foul line.

Frances King poured in a game-high 20 points in a losing effort. Hannah Reynolds and Jordan Mathis followed with 14 apiece for Midwestern State, which fell to 2-2 on the year.

The Bison led from start to finish, jumping out to a 21-7 advantage through one quarter and cruising to a 47-27 halftime cushion. The lead had actually swelled to 29 late in the second before the Mustangs sliced the deficit to 20 at the break.

Midwestern State's Courtney Kerr dribbles in the game against Wiley College Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in D.L. Ligon Coliseum at MSU. The Mustangs defeated the Wildcats 91-63.

Midwestern State trimmed the OBU advantage to 14 by the end of the third and got to within 11 (61-50) to start the fourth.

But a 13-0 Bison run put the game out of reach. During that spurt, Copeland scored five (including 3-of-4 free throws) while Ford had four points off a jumper near the foul line and a jumper off a steal. Chambers and Taylor each converted two free shots during that span.

“The key to getting to the line was attacking the basket and throwing it inside. That's how we have to play,” Overton said.

The next action for OBU will be Saturday at Cameron University in Lawton for a 2 p.m. tipoff.