SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 27, 2016) – The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball team ended its regular season undefeated as they crushed Jarvis Christian College 79-48 Saturday evening.
The NAIA's No. 1 Saints move to 27-2 overall and 18-0 in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), while the Lady Bulldogs end their season and drop to 16-23 overall and 3-15 in conference.
The Saints are the champions of the conference's regular season and will prepare for the tournament next week at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, hosted by Wiley. Other qualifiers include Langston University, Huston-Tillotson University, LSU-Shreveport, Wiley College and the University of St. Thomas
Comments from Head Coach Christopher Minner:
Special Presentation to Seniors
Seniors Daniela Nopuente, Sonji Green, Taylor Hamilton and Ariel Clay were honored upon the conclusion of the game. Both Nopuente and Clay joined the Saints team this season, while Hamilton and Green started in the 2014-2015 season. Clay was surprised with a video tribute of her and her uncle, who passed away earlier this week.
The Saints have faced the Bulldogs 15 previous times and have won all but two. The Saints' losses were in 2011 – 65-67, and 2013 – 78-83. Earlier this season, the Saints defeated Jarvis 74-5.
The Saints jumped to a 13-0 lead, but their baskets were not going in easily as they missed nine field goals in the same time period. Ariel Clay (SR/Fairfield, Calif.) took the Saints to 22, while Jarvis had just scored four points. The quarter ended with a basket from Jarvis' Taybreanna Couch at the 1:21 mark. In those one-plus minutes, the Saints missed seven field goals.
Despite sluggish shooting, the Saints continued to dominate in the second quarter as they increased their lead to 20 at 32-12. LaQeisha Brown (JR/San Antonio, Texas) made an amazing near half-court shot at the buzzer to end the first half with the Saints Leading 45-17.
Francesca Patrick (SO/Killeen, Texas) took the lead in the third quarter with a pair of field goals and a free throw to put the Saints at a 30-plus lead. The Saints defense played exceptional as they continued to press heavily, not allowing the Bulldogs to make it down the court or inbound the ball in the allotted time. The third period ended with the Saints leading 65-32.
The Saints kept the momentum in the final period to win the game 79-48.
OLLU's LaQeisha Brown led the Saints with 13 points, 4-of-9 from the field, one three and 4-of-9 from the free-throw line. Daniela Nopuente (SR/Daly City, Calif.) and Taylor Hamilton (SR/Fairfield, Calif.) each had 11 points, while Sonji Gree finished with 11 rebounds, seven points, two assists and two blocks.
Jarvis' Taybreanna Couch scored 12 points for Jarvis, and Jasper Lewis finished with 10 rebounds, eight points and five blocks.
Inside the box
The Saints hit 34 percent from the field going 27-of-79 and 7-of-22 from 3-point range for 32 percent. They sank 18-of-26 from the charity stripe for 69 percent.
Jarvis went 17-of-54 from the field for 31 percent, but went 0-for-10 from 3-point range. They made 14-of-22 from the free-throw line for 64 percent.
The Saints won the rebound battle. They had 50, 28 on defense and 22 on offense, while the Bulldogs had 47, 35 on defense and 12 on offense.
OLLU forced 32 turnovers and committed 19 fouls, while the Bulldogs forced 32 turnovers and committed 19 fouls.
The Saints will compete in the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed. The team will have a first-round bye, then play on Friday, March 4 against the lowest remaining seed. The championship match will take place Saturday, March 5.