Bartlesville, Okla. — The Oklahoma Wesleyan No. 18 Women’s basketball team beat No. 2 College of the Ozarks 70-74 at home on Saturday and landed the MCAC regular season title.
The win by OKWU ended the 10 game winning streak of CofO, while extending their own run to seven straight.
Both teams came into the game with a 14-1 conference record, the best in the MCAC – meaning the winner on the day would lift the regular season crown.
And it was the home side which took the early advantage, jumping out to a 17-7 lead over the Bobcats, when Shelby Graham knocked down a three-pointer with 10:56 left in the first half.
The Lady Eagles (23-4) went on to extend that lead to 16 points late in the first half with a 36-20 lead before taking a 38-26 half-time advantage.
However, as expected Ozarks rallied in the second half and quickly erased the deficit on their way to building a six point lead of their own.
Both sides battled back-and-forth until the closing moments of the game.
Nichole Tate scored a second chance attempt with two-minutes left to tie the scores at 62-62 and then knocked down the free throw to give the Lady Eagles a 63-62 lead.
Delany Jones, who finished with 16 points and six rebounds, also completed a three point play to give the Mark Molder’s side a four point advantage with 1:11 left.
But the Lady Bobcats, led by the impressive Morgan Smith, who finished with a top score of 32 points and eight rebounds, came back to pull the game within a point at 68-67, but the hosts held on in the closing seconds to take the famous victory.
Megan Jones led the OKWU Lady Eagles with 25 points, while Tate finished with a solid double/double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Besides Smith’s impressive night, College of the Ozarks (26-4) got useful contributions from Emily Walker, who finished with 10 points, seven boards and six assists and Tanner Merriman, who had 10 points in the defeat.
FRIDAY’S NIGHT EASY WIN
Meanwhile, on Friday night Oklahoma Wesleyan handed the struggling Central Christian College its 14th successive defeat in the MCAC and 24 overall from 27 games with a comfortable 89-30 win at the “Nest” as well.
Megan Jones again played a big part in that victory – scoring 17 points and grabbing five boards.
Caitlin Linihan top scored for the Lady Eagles with 18 points.