The Oklahoma Christian University women saw their stock rise earlier this week when they climbed to No. 18 in the coaches’ polls, but learned they have plenty of work left to do in the tough Sooner Athletic Conference. The Lady Eagles got roughed up by No. 9 Oklahoma City University in the first half of Thursday night’s game and never recovered, losing 68-49 at the Eagles Nest.
“We have to learn how to play more physical because those games do bother us and this game was unbelievably physical,” OC head coach Stephanie Findley. “They’re a very good team, they’re quick, they press I just wasn’t expecting us to get intimidated like we did.”
Oklahoma City University set the tone early with their physical play in the paint and relentless defense. The Lady Eagles (13-4, 6-3) hit just four field goals in the first half and quickly found themselves down by double digits before heading to the locker room trailing 29-8 at halftime. The OC women picked it up in the second half, but couldn’t climb out of the enormous hole.
Lisa Chenoweth led the Lady Eagles with 16 points and two assists. Katy O’Steen came off the bench to score 11 points and grab two rebounds.
Oklahoma City University (12-3, 7-1) scored six straight points before the Lady Eagles got on the board with basket from Brittney Kennedy five minutes into the game. They kept things tight for the early part of the first half, but couldn’t keep up with the Stars. OCU used their physical play and strong inside game to close out the first with a 19-2 run that put them in control 29-8 at the half.
The physical play continued in the second half but resulted in a barrage of free throws. After only four total free throw attempts in the first half, the two teams combined to shoot 51 foul shots in the second. The Lady Eagles made 22-of-24 attempts with O’Steen getting to the line eight times.
“We did a good job taking it to the hole when we figured out that they were going to call the stuff,” Findley said. “And that got us on the line, we were making our free throws and that helped us relax a bit.”
Chenoweth gave OC some offense in the second half with 13 points after the half, but it wasn’t enough to get them back in the game. The Lady Eagles outscored OCU 41-39 in the second half, but the Stars were still able to maintain a 20-point plus cushion for much of the second half.
Oklahoma City University had four players score in double figures. Starr Fairbanks led the way with 17 points and six rebounds.
The OC women are back in action Saturday when they play at Mid-America Christian at 6 p.m.