Enid News and Eagle
SHAWNEE, Okla. —
Top-seeded Northern Oklahoma College women scored the final nine points of the game to thwart an upset bid by archrival NOC Tonkawa, winning 66-58 in the quarterfinals of the Region 2 championships at Oklahoma Baptist University.
The Lady Jets (24-7) will play Redlands, which beat Seminole in overtime, at 8 tonight in the semifinals. Murray State, a 63-56 winner over Carl Albert and NEO, a 75-62 winner over Arkansas Baptist, play at 6.
The Lady Mavericks did not score for the final 2:50 of the game after Mary Means hit two free throws to give Tonkawa a 58-57 advantage.
Christa Beasler, who had 18 of her 20 points after intermission, gave the Lady Jets the lead for good at 59-58 with two free throws with two minutes left. Beasler hit four treys in the second half.
Chelsea Bates, who had 21 points, hit a runner to make it 61-58 with 1:19 left and hit two more free throws to make it 64-58 with 21 seconds left. Bates was 7 of 12 from the field, 2 of 4 from 3-point range, 5-of-7 from the line and had four rebounds and four assists.
NOC Tonkawa missed its last four shots and committed three turnovers during its cold spell.
“You have to give Tonkawa a lot of credit,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “They came out with a great game plan and a lot of energy. We had a good effort, but outside of that, we struggled in every phase of the game.
Morris said the Lady Jets “got some breaks in the last few minutes.’’ He said the Lady Mavs “might have tightened up a bit’’ after losing the lead.
“But they played a great game,’’ Morris said.
The Lady Jets had to shoot outside more than usual (10 of 28 from 3-point range) against NOC Tonkawa’s zone. Beasler and Regan Crowl’s outside shooting loosened things up, but it was Bates’ leadership that made the difference again, Morris said.
“I can’t say enough good things about Chelsea,’’ Morris said. “Christa and Regan hit some big shots that loosened things up and gave us momentum. We usually like it when a team plays a zone like that, but we couldn’t get going.’’
The Lady Mavericks led by as many as 10 points, 46-36, midway through the second half, only to see the Lady Jets come back.
NOC Tonkawa, which had upset Eastern in the first round Monday, led by as many as 13 points in the first half.
Bates and Beasler were joined in double figures by Rylie Swanson with 11.
Isidora Madzarevic led NOC Tonkawa with 16 points, 15 of which came in the first half on five 3s.