SHAWNEE, Okla. – OCU pounded Oklahoma Baptist 98-64 on Saturday at the Noble Complex.
The Stars, ranked second in NAIA Division I women’s basketball, used a hot hand and a lockdown defense to record the overwhelming win over the Lady Bison. OCU punished Oklahoma Baptist into forcing 32 turnovers that resulted in 39 points. The Stars shot 55.2 percent from the field for the game, including a blistering 66.7 percent in the second half to stop the Lady Bison.
The Stars moved to 22-2 on the season, 17-2 in the Sooner Athletic Conference with the win.
“Coach keeps pushing that big national championship picture,” Taylor Booze said. “He made this game seem like the second round of the national championships. After the game today he said we made it to the Elite Eight, and we knew what we had to do. We came out here and got the win with good team play and we’re about to go to the Elite Eight.”
Booze, a junior from Duncanville, Texas, recorded season-highs of 21 points and seven steals for the Stars. OCU’s guard combination of Booze, Donica Cosby and Desiree Jeffries accounted for 56 total points. Along with Booze’s 21, Jeffries and Cosby poured in 18 and 17 points, respectively.
“I thought Taylor Booze did a great job of setting her feet and taking smart shots,” OCU coach Rob Edmisson said. “I thought her on-ball pressure in the first half was unbelievable. She was wearing OBU out, and her kid was having no fun.
“It all starts there. Our defensive intensity starts with the on-ball pressure and if it’s there then it carries down. We forced them into 32 turnovers on the night. If you do that, you’re going to win some games.”
Lauren Gober’s outside shot helped the Stars to 14 points while Starr Fairbanks contributed 10 points down low. Chasity Workman went up for a game-high nine rebounds to go with eight points in 11 minutes of action.
OCU extended its second-half lead to as many as 37 points after an 18-4 run early in the half. Cosby picked the Lady Bison’s pocket and raced the length of the court for the easy basket to set the score at 77-40 in favor of the Stars. Oklahoma Baptist answered back with a 14-1 run of their own that spanned 4:12 to cut the score to 78-54. OCU finished off the Lady Bison with a final score of 98-64.
“I think I was so ready to play that when I started playing defense it got me into the game and then I slowly started getting steals, started getting points and everything else fell in place,” Booze said. “My shot started dropping, so it was a good game for me. It was a good win all around. Our defense was crazy, we were everywhere. Everybody was just locked in.”
Oklahoma Baptist started the game with a 6-0 run with Samantha Smith netting the three early buckets. Smith ended the first half with nearly all the Lady Bison points, swishing in 21 in the first 20 minutes of action. Smith ended as the contest’s leading scorer with 28 points.
OCU roared back and took a 15-14 lead with 10:11 on the clock after a put back by Workman found its mark. The Stars stretched the advantage to 16 points by the halftime break. OCU finished the period on an 11-3 run that featured three long-range shots by Gober to put the score at 43-27.
“I thought our kids played with a lot of energy,” Edmisson said. “We started out the game a little slow, but I thought our press took over and we could tell that we wore them down. Overall I was pleased, and I told our kids any time we come in here and win by 30, life’s good.”
OCU begins the last week of regular season play as the Stars host Northwestern on Monday at 6 p.m. at Abe Lemons Arena.