SHAWNEE--Connors State put a "scare" into top seed Northern Oklahoma-Enid Thursday at the Noble Center on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University in the quarterfinals of the Region II Women's Basketball Tournament.
The Jets (26-3) held a 16-point lead over the Cowgirls 43-27 with 5:52 remaining in the third quarter and then found themselves in a dog fight the rest of the way, surviving a late rally by the Cowgirls to capture a 63-56 victory and advance to the semifinals on Friday. Connors ends the year at 15-16.
"I told my kids that was a hard fought game," said Coach Jamie Fisher. "We have nothing to be ashamed of. We took the No. 1 team to the limit. That's the best team and we scared them to death."
Cowgirls did indeed put a scare into the Jets as Connors answered the call in the final five minutes of the third quarter to tie Enid at 45-all at the 1:16 mark and then took a two point lead on a bucket by Melina Ludlow. The jets then tied the game at 47-all seconds later on a pair of free throws by Kaylee Hurst.
It was two of 22 Enid drained at the line, who had 28 attempts at the stripe. Connors went to the line just 13 times connecting on 11. In all other phases of the game between the two clubs it was virtually identical.
In the third period Connors went on a 15-2 run to deadlock the game. However in the fourth quarter, the Jets opened the period by scoring eight unanswered points for a 55-47 lead with 6:30 remaining in the game.
After another Ludlow bucket, Enid added five more points to make it 59-49 with 5:05 left. A pair of free throws and basket by Vicky Duru, who finished with 12 points, made 59-53 with 1:55 showing on the clock.
Enid then outscored the Cowgirls 4-3, all on free throws for the final outcome.
"We had some crucial turnovers late in the game and lost some 50-50 calls that should have gone our way but didn't" said Fisher. "We put ourselves in a position to win, but it didn't go our way.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team. They played their hearts out for me all year," said Fisher.
Cheyenne Marshall concluded her career at Connors with 15 points against Enid, along with Vicky Duru with 10 points. Freshman Lauren White came off the to score 15 points, something Fisher was very happy to see. "Lauren has really played well and the sophomores played their guts out.
"I am so proud of the heart and desire they gave.
"I didn't want it to end this way, but we took the No. 1 team to the mat and scared them to death," said Fisher.
NORTHERN OKLAHOMA-ENID 63, CONNORS STATE 56
Connors State 14 9 24 9—56
NOC-Enid 15 18 14 16—63
Connors State (15-16)—Marshall 15, La. Wright 15, Duru 12, Patterson 6, Ludlow 6, T.
NOC-En id (26-3)—Lazenby 16, Tramble 12, Hurst 11, Griswold 10, Pierce 6, Englar 3, Meeker 3, Neiderer 2.