MSSU Women Open Season With Win - KOAM TV 7

MSSU Women Open Season With Win



Weatherford, Okla. - The Missouri Southern Lions Women's Basketball team started their 2015-16 season off on the right foot as they beat Oklahoma Baptist 72-63 in the GAC/MIAA Challenge hosted by Southwestern Oklahoma State on Friday afternoon.

Missouri Southern (1-0) was led by senior Sharese Jones as she poured in 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds on the afternoon. The Lions got things started just seconds into the game as junior transfer Deb Holcomb drained a three pointer for a 3-0 lead. Oklahoma Baptist (0-1) went on an 8-2 run to take a 8-5 lead and keep that lead until just over two minutes left in the half as Southern regained the lead at 36-35 on a layup from Jones that was part of a 20-4 run that saw the Lions outscore OBU 25-12 in the second quarter and take a 45-37 lead into halftime.

In the second quarter Southern started to close the gap when a pair of free throws from Jones ignited a 15-2 run that saw Jones go 5-for-5 from the charity stripe and add a layup to give Southern a two point lead, 37-35 with 2:14 to play in the half. The Lions never looked back as they closed the half on a 6-2 run to open an eight point lead at 45-37.

For the half Southern was 17-for-32 (53.1 percent) from the floor including 4-for-8 from three point range and went 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Jones led the Lions in the first half with 11 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Kayla Kivinski added eight points and three rebounds while Holcomb contributed seven points and led the team with two steals.

The third quarter started with OBU's Cameerah Graves hitting a layup to pull the Bison within six at 45-39, that would be the closest Oklahoma Baptist would get as the Lions answered back with a jumper from freshman Chelsey Henry and from there Southern methodically pushed the lead into double digits with Kivinski hitting a free throw with 2:44 left in the quarter to give Southern a 13 point lead at 55-42.

The Lions lead would get up to 13 points twice in the fourth as Jones hit a layup to make it 61-48 with 7:34 on the clock and then again with sophomore Jordan Dinyer drove the lane to make it 65-52 with just over five minutes to play. Oklahoma Baptist would work to get the lead down to six after a three pointer from McKenzie Cooper at 67-61 before Jones would hit two more free throws to make it 69-61 with 1:28 to play. On the very next trip down the court the Bison again got the lead down to six on a layup from Raquel Dudzevich before Holcomb would close out the game like she started with a three-pointer. 

Oklahoma Baptist got 22 points from Arielle Cooper who went 10-for-14 from the floor. The Bison shot 40.4 percent (21-for-52) from the floor as a team while only shooting 64 percent (16-for-25) from the free throw line.

After their scorching first half the Lions cooled off in the second as they finished the game 22-for-55 (40 percent) from the floor and 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) from three point range. Southern was near perfect from the free throw stripe as they finished the game 23-for-29 for 79.3 percent. Jones led the Lions, nabbed her first double-double of the season, with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Holcomb joined her in double figures with 10 points and gathered two of the teams eight steals. Kivinski added nine points for Southern and recorded the team's only block on the afternoon. Sophomore Jenson Maydew and seniorKenya Wilson-Brown led the Lions with two assists each on the day.

Southern will be back in action tomorrow as they play host Southwestern Oklahoma State with tip off from the Pioneer Cellular Event Center scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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