SAGU falls to first place, OLLU, 80-54
Career night by Griffin not enough for Lady Lions
Final home game on Saturday at 2:00pm
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The rise of sophomore Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian) continued Monday night. Even against the league’s second toughest defense, Our Lady of the Lake University, the forward poured in a career-high 20 points.
Her effort still couldn’t prevent OLLU from rolling to an 80-54 victory over Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
After blowing a late, double-digit lead in a frustrating 84-82 home loss to Wiley College on February 9, the Lady Saints have been on a mission. They played like it Thursday night in the Sheaffer Center.
For OLLU to win the Red River Athletic Conference (27-2, 20-2 in RRAC), they need for Wiley (24-3, 18-2 in RRAC) to fall once this weekend.
The Lady Wildcats close with a critical road game on Saturday at 2:00pm (CST) at SAGU, then host St. Thomas (15-13, 11-9 in RRAC) on Monday. They are favored to win both.
SAGU slipped to 9-19 overall and are 5-15 in league action. The team is currently tied in ninth place in the league with Jarvis Christian College (7-18, 5-15).
Team Lioness still has an opportunity, albeit a difficult one, to earn an invitation to the conference tournament next week.
They must win one of their two remaining games and have Bacone College (8-17, 6-14) lose one of their final two contests. Plus, Jarvis must lose to Langston University.
Griffin was the one constant throughout the game for the Lady Lions. A season after netting 10 points in sixteen game appearances, she now has 108 in 27, including 61 in the past eight outings.
The 5-foot-11 Griffin made eight of her twelve shots and all four tries from the free throw line. Her previous scoring best was 13 three days earlier in a rout against Northwood University.
She is connecting on 54% of her shots, which passes former team leader Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS), who knocks down 52%.
Griffin latched onto eight rebounds in twenty-three minutes of playing time. Hankins grabbed 10 in 24, and Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), who racked up 10 in 32 minutes.
OLLU was out to finish the regular season with a strong showing. After Cox scored on an offensive putback and Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) converted two free throws, the Lady Lions had their only lead at 4-3.
Cox powered in a layup on a crosscorner pass in the lane from Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian), Southwestern trailed 10-6 with 17:13 left in the half.
By the time Okievia Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) assisted Griffin in the paint, OLLU had blanked SAGU for 4:59 during a 14-0 run.
The Saints’ advantage swelled to 32-8 by forcing SAGU into many of their 21 first half turnovers. Fullcourt pressure led the Halos to a 46-19 margin on the strength of Nikkia Davis' 11 first half points, and nine from Mercedes Dobson.
SAGU weathered the storm and scored eight of the last nine points in the half to trail, 47-27.
Hankins zipped a pass to Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS) and Andrea Lugo’s (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) dime to Bratchett was cashed in for a three-point dividend. Bratchett layed in a breakaway deuce to close the half.
The closest the Lions came in the second half was 62-45 at the 7:46 mark. The Saints put the game away with a 16-2 run to lead, 78-47, with 3:07 to go.
Team Purple managed to shoot 12-of-30 (40%) in the second stanza and held OLLU to 10-of-38 (26%) from the field.
Five players donning purple made between five and nine turnovers (see attached Box Score) to seal the team’s fate.
Only Griffin scored in double-digits. She was 5-of-6 shooting after halftime.
Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) added nine points on 4-of-8 from the court, with Hill credited for eight points.
The Lady Lions held their own on the boards, though outrebounded by 43-38.
OLLU placed four in double-figures on offense, and had seven players contributing between eight and twelve points.
Dobson led 12, followed by Davis and Sam Offord with 11. Chelsea Solis chipped in with 10. Treshenia Solomon and Alisha Crump tossed in nine apiece and
Sophomore guard Nashae (nah-SHAY) Owens, the engine that usually drives the Saints, finished with eight, all in the first half. She leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game.
Home Finale on Saturday at 2:00pm
Next up for SAGU is Wiley College on Saturday. The game will be broadcast in HD on SAGU TV. The pre-game show is set for 1:45pm.
The Lady Wildcats caged the Lions, 61-50, on January 24.
Feathers in the Wiley hat are two triumphs over LSUS; 78-75 in overtime in overtime, and 77-76 in Marshall.
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