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Aggie and Lady Aggie Sports
Scott Puryear, Sports Information Director
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, OK 73939


TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS! Oklahoma Panhandle State topped Western State 71-66 to claim the
title in the Comfort Inn Classic on Saturday night. - Campus Communications Photo

**For Immediate Release**
Lady Aggies Claim Tournament Title
by Scott Puryear of Aggie Sports on 11/19/05

Goodwell, OK – Gunnison, Colorado is the site of the annual Comfort Inn Classic women’s basketball tournament and the Lady Aggies of Oklahoma Panhandle State University were there with no intention of making things comfortable for opposing teams. They topped Chadron State 65-54 in the tourney’s first round, and came back the next night with a 71-66 win over Western State to claim the tournament title.

Lady Aggies 65, Chadron State 54
Oklahoma Panhandle State evened their season record at 1-1 with a solid 65-54 win against Chadron State in the first round of the Comfort Inn Classic on Friday night.

In the opening half, OPSU played well at both ends of the court and held a 30-20 lead. They jumped out fast in the second half and increased the margin to as much as fourteen points. Chadron State made a determined run and got to within a single point as the clock moved forward, but thanks to their teamwork and conditioning, the Lady Aggies decided that enough was enough and pulled away for the eleven point victory.

Nina Kuleff led both teams with 20 points and 11 boards, and Brandi Lewis had 19 points and seven rebounds. Taneisha Rogers popped in 14 points and added six rebounds.

After the win, OPSU coach Jerry Olson was making sure his team was focusing on the tournament’s final game on Saturday against host school Western State, but the veteran coach noted that he was pleased with the work and effort the Lady Aggies displayed in the victory. Fans were ready for a wild one in the tournament’s final game, and that would be exactly what it would turn out to be.

Lady Aggies 71, Western State 66
In the Comfort Inn championship game on Saturday night, 48% field goal shooting and strong defense put the Lady Aggies in front of Western State, 32-22 at halftime.

Western State had scored 99 points on the night before and did not want to lose their own tournament. They came out with purpose in the second half, cutting the OPSU lead to two points with 18 minutes to play in the game. However, the Lady Aggies fought back and Nina Kuleff’s free throw put them in the lead by seven points with 11:47 left in the game.

Western State staged a strong rally and took a one point lead (49-48) at the 10:10 mark and the stage was set for an exciting finish - just what tournament championship games are supposed to be about. The Lady Aggies soon tied the game at 52 points each, then OPSU’s quick Taneisha Rogers came up with a nifty steal, followed by a fast break lay up to give her team a 54-52 lead with just over eight minutes to play.

It was great college basketball and with 5:31 to play – TIE GAME at 55-55!

Western State caught a couple of good breaks and went ahead 63-57, but there was no quit in the Lady Aggies, and they regrouped under Coach Olson and soon a three-point bomb by Rogers tied the game at 63-63 with just over two minutes to play.

Not to be denied victory, OPSU’s Brandi Lewis soon nailed another three point rocket and the Lady Aggies finished the game with a 71-66 win and the tournament champion- ship.

Lewis led all scorers with 21 points and Rogers popped in 17. Nina Kuleff was the leading rebounder for the Lady Aggies with ten to go along with her 13 points. Diana Garduno scored nine and freshman Sarah Furgeson scored five and pulled down eight rebounds.

Olson was glowing after the game, but gave Western State plenty of credit, saying that both teams worked hard for the win. The turning point in the contest may well have been when the 6’0 Kuleff went to the bench with foul trouble in the second half. Western State was unable to gain from the situation because the crafty Olson went to a four guard offense and the conditioning of his team again spelled the difference.

It was a great win for the Lady Aggies (2-1) whose only loss has come at the hands of the Air Force Academy.






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