WAXAHACHIE, TEXAS (March 2, 2013) -- The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Saints women's basketball team battled LSU-Shreveport Saturday afternoon in the semifinals round of the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament. The Saints prevailed to win 75-63 to advance to the championship match on Monday, March 4. The Saints will play the winner of the Wiley College and Texas Wesleyan University game that takes place tonight at 8 p.m.
Head Coach Christopher Minner said, "We came back in the second half with a better effort defensively. LSU is an excellent team, and for us to beat them three times this year is huge for us. I am proud of our team and we look forward to the championships on Monday."
During the first half, the Saints shot 30 percent from the field, 11 percent from 3-point range and 67 percent from the free-throw line. They committed 10 turnovers and forced just five on the Lady Co-Pilots. Leading scorer for the Saints was Nikkia Davis, who had 11 points in the first half.
The Co-Pilots' first-half shooting wasn't much better than the Saints, as they shot 35 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line. They had attempted seven 3-pointers and had made none. The Lady Co-Pilots had two people with double-digit scoring – Sharde Henry had 13 points, while Jenna Diakos had 11.
For only the third time this season, the Saints finished the first half trailing their opponent. LSU led 28-27. The team opened the second period with a pivotal 3-pointer to take the 30-27 lead, but within two minutes Nashae Owens made a basket to take back the lead at 31-30.
Alisha Crump, who had four points and six rebounds in the first half, added seven more points and four more rebounds to get her 12th career double-double – the most than any other Saint in history. With that, the Saints continued to lead 51-46.
With three minutes left in the game, Mercedes Dobson gave the Saints their biggest lead of the game at 67-56. A slip on the floor by Crump forced her out of the game, but the Saints continued their momentum. Owens stole the ball to fast break it down the court for a layup to give the Saints the 69-60 lead. Another steal from Davis got her fouled with 1:20 left in the game. She took the Saints to 71-60. Treshenia Solomon was assessed a technical, which was her fifth. After the foul shot was taken, Nelly Flores subbed in to take the shot for Solomon taking the game to 75-63. The clock ran out with no subsequent scoring.
Davis ended with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Owens ended with 16 points, and Crump finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. OLLU shot 42 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free-throw line. The Saints committed 18 turnovers while forcing 13.
LSU shot 37 percent from the field, 11 percent from 3-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line. Their high scorer was Diakos, who finished with 21 points. Henry scored 20 points.
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