Big Hearts Lead Lady Aggies in Exciting Two Game Split
- by Scott Puryear of OPSU Sports on 12/03/07
Goodwell, Okla. - Over the weekend, the Oklahoma Panhandle State women’s basketball team played two games within a 28 hour period, 230 miles apart, and accounted for themselves very well. The game on Saturday in Goodwell was a heart stopping 66-60 win over Fort Hays State in overtime.
On Sunday afternoon in Alamosa, Colorado, OPSU had the unenviable task of facing the number one ranked NCAA Division II team in the country – the University of North Dakota. The Lady Aggies gave it everything they had but a second half UND surge gave them the 73-67 win.
LADY AGGIES 66, Fort Hays State 60 (Overtime)
On Saturday, the Lady Tigers from Fort Hays State were in Goodwell with revenge on their minds, well aware the Lady Aggies had beaten them 66-58 on November 21 in Hays, Kansas. Fort Hays was on the right track for most of Saturday’s game, leading by as many as nine points in the second half. However, with big hearts and hard work, the Lady Aggies fought back to tie the game at the end of regulation and then went “bombs away” during the overtime for an exciting 66-60 victory.
During the first half, both teams were a bit sluggish with Fort Hays keeping the Lady Aggies off their rhythm and taking a 25-22 lead to the halftime break.
Fort Hays came out tough in the second half, and with six minutes gone, they held a 37-28 advantage.
Regroup is exactly what the Lady Aggies did and they clawed their way back into things. After a three-point bucket by Cherrelle Tillis with a minute left to play and a pair of clutch free throws by Sarah Polson with just eight seconds on the clock, the game went to overtime with the score tied 53-53.
The Lady Aggies definitely saved the best for last and thanks in large part to a rugged defense and a pair of long range three-point rockets by Polson in the overtime, OPSU owned the 66-60 win and a season sweep over the good Fort Hays team.
After the game, OPSU coach Brad Vanden Boogaard was enthused about the determination the team showed in overcoming a deficit down the stretch and said the team members were beginning to adjust to their respective roles very well.
Polson led the Lady Aggies with 17 points, Tillis scored 13, and Sedra Watkins nailed a “double-double” with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Polson also had three assists, a pair of steals and blocked a shot. Jasmine Williams pulled down seven rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.
North Dakota 73, LADY AGGIES 67
On Sunday in Alamosa, Colorado the Lady Aggies went head to head with the number one ranked NCAA DII team in the country – the University of North Dakota. OPSU came out firing and nailed just under 54% of their first half shots and took a 40-36 advantage at the intermission. However, UND stormed back in the second half and took the win, 73-67.
The Lady Aggies played with heart all the way and never once gave up against the best team they have played this season.
Jasmine Williams continued to play well inside for the Lady Aggies and led her team with 17 points, to go along with six rebounds and four blocked shots. Sedra Watkins dropped in ten points, had a team high nine rebounds and dished out three assists.
Alisha Sladek had ten points for OPSU while Ro Wilson and Sarah Polson each dropped in eight points.
Despite the close game against the top ranked team, OPSU coach Brad Vanden Boogaard is not a believer in moral victories. Though proud of their performance, the first year mentor said his squad had to “struggle too hard to get the ball into the hole.”
The Lady Aggies (now 4-3) have proven they are a very competitive team and can play with big hearts when the chips are down. They should be a formidable force in Heartland Conference play which begins in January.
With the win, UND upped their record to 7-0 while OPSU fell to 4-3.
The Lady Aggies will be back in action on their home court this Friday evening at 7:00 against Missouri Southern.