SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 29, 2012) -- Nashae Owens scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball team to its 12th consecutive win on Saturday evening. The Saints' 83-74 victory of NCAA Division II Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) moves the team to a 12-0 record, while the Dustdevils drop to 3-8.
Head Coach Christopher Minner said, "We got a fight this week. This is the second time we played them, so they weren't as shocked by our press. But we still forced 25 turnovers. In the first half, they played pretty well and shot the ball pretty well. They are a physical team, so we got tested. I thought our man-to-man defense was good. We started out slow, but it all evened out in the second half."
Senior captain Nikkia Davis put the first points on the board for the Saints. OLLU continued to build its lead until the 17th minute when a pair of free throws from TAMIU's Tina Dang tied the score at 6-6. The teams took turns leading through the 13th minute when the Dustdevils began an 8-2 run to pull ahead 23-17. A jumper from Owens gave the Saints the opportunity to gain the momentum to pull off a 5-0 run at 30-35. With less than two minutes remaining, freshman Lauren Rubio gave the Saints the 39-37 lead and a shot from Dang tied the scored at 39 as the half-time buzzer rang.
Samantha Chacon took her team to the locker room with 17 points, while Davis led the Saints with 10 points.
Both teams returned to the court with determination in the second half. After a one-point lead early on, the Dustdevils were relegated to playing catch up the rest of the game as the Saints put their offense on full tilt.
Owens and Jennifer Davison (pictured at right), both of whom had scored two points in the first half, had scored eight points each in the first six minutes of the second period to give the Saints the 49-47 lead.
With four minutes remaining in the game, the Saints had taken their biggest lead of the game at 71-62. That lead would grow to 12 at 83-71, before a 3-pointer from Dang ended the game with the Saints winning 83-74.
Owens finished with her career-high 25-points on a career-high 10-of-17 field goals and 5-of-5 free throws. Alisha Crump added 16 points, including 6-of-7 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line and eight rebounds. Davis ended with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Sam Offord (pictured at left), who returned to the court after sitting out with a rib injury, contributed nine points, two rebounds and two steals.
TAMIU's Malika Jackson scored 22 points, while Dang added 19 and Chacon, 17.
The Saints shot 43 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free throw line, while committing 12 turnovers.
The Dustdevils shot 46 percent from the field, 78 percent from the free throw line, while committing 25 turnovers.
Saints Repoter Michael Thompson interviewed Coach Minner after the game against TAMIU.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click here: www.championsofcharacter.org.
Luis A. Lárraga
Sports Information Assistant