|Huston-Tillotson (Texas) 20-6||19||11||18||32||80|
|Our Lady of the Lake (TX) 29-2||22||21||38||21||102|
|Mar. 5, 2016|
|Huston-Tillotson (Texas)||Indv. Leaders||Our Lady of the Lake (TX)|
|#3 Ariel Callis - 25||Points||#24 Taylor Hamilton - 34|
|#10 Deandra Darjean - 9||Rebounds||2 Players (#5,#12) - 7|
|2 Players (#21,#32) - 3||Assists||3 Players - 3|
|Huston-Tillotson (Texas)||Team Statistics||Our Lady of the Lake (TX)|
|38.2% (29 - 76)||Field Goals %||44.1% (30 - 68)|
|32.3% (10 - 31)||3 Point Field Goals %||51.9% (14 - 27)|
|63.2% (12 - 19)||Free Throws||82.4% (28 - 34)|
|17||2nd Chance Pts||16|
LONGVIEW, TEXAS (March 5, 2016) – Taylor Hamilton (SR/Fairfield, Calif.)'s record-breaking 34 points and Daniela Nopuente (SR/Daly City, Calif.)'s season-high 23 points led Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball to a 102-80 championship win over Huston-Tillotson University (HTU).
The Saints earned the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament title to move to 29-2 overall, while HTU ends its season with a 20-6 record.
Head Coach Christopher Minner commented: "This was a fantastic weekend. I am so proud of the team for their performance this weekend. Our offensive performance was outstanding, and both games were decided by the fourth quarter. Now we have to get ready for nationals. We are the first women's basketball team to win both. This year's performance in conference might be the most dominating in RRAC women's history. It was a great weekend."
The Saints swept the Rams this season. In January, the Saints won 84-69 and in February, OLLU won 82-64. This is the first time the Saints have won both the regular season and the tournament in the same year. In 2011-2012, the Saints captured the tournament title, and for the last four seasons, the team has won the regular season. HTU has never won the regular season, but in 2013-2014, the Rams captured the conference title.
The Saints started the championship game trailing 5-0. A 3-pointer from Julia Rendon (SO/San Antonio, Texas) tied the game at seven. The Rams kept up their momentum as they took back the lead with a three from Porscha Jewell. A pair of free throws from Taylor Hamilton tied the game at 10. The first quarter traded leads throughout, but after a 16-16 tie, Hamilton got the lead back for the Saints. They maintained the edge through the end of the first period to lead 22-19. The Saints made 14 trips to the free-throw line, while the Rams had none. The Rams also outshot the Saints 25 to 14 in the first quarter. Hamilton led the way with a game-high 12 points.
The Saints took complete control in the second quarter as they built a double-digit lead within less than two minutes. Rendon's three gave the Saints their biggest lead of the game at that point at 43-27. A three from HTU's Lolita Franklin ended the half with the Saints leading 43-30. The Rams continued to outshoot the Saints 38-32, but the Saints' shooting percentage had a 40- to 29-percent advantage.
Hamilton took the Saints to a 20-plus lead within three minutes into the third quarter, and five minutes later, she took the Saints to a 30-point lead at 73-43. Nopuente closed out the third quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Saints the 81-48 lead.
The Saints kept at least a 20-point lead in the last period until the two-minute mark, when the Rams got to within 19 at 96-77. A three from Nopuente took the game back to 99-77, and the Saints ended the game with a 102-80 win.
This was the third time this season the Saints reached the century mark. Back in December, the Saints beat Paul Quinn 105-49, and in late February the Saints defeated Wiley 103-74. No other team in the 2016 Red River Athletic Conference Tournament – men or women – have reached the century mark.
The Red River Athletic Conference's Player of the Year Taylor Hamilton once again proved her dominance this afternoon with an OLLU-best-ever 34 points. She made 7-of-16 from the field. She also broke the OLLU record for most free throws made and attempted in a game with 20 of 23. Hamilton added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Nopuente tallied 23 points, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line.
HTU's Ariel Callis scored 25 points, while teammates Porscha Jewell finished with 20 and Deandra Darjean scored 11. Darjean added nine rebounds.
Inside the box
The Saints hit 44 percent from the field going 30-of-68 and 14-of-27 from 3-point range for 52 percent. They sank 28-of-34 from the charity stripe for 82 percent.
The Rams went 29-of-76 from the field for 38 percent, and went 10-for-31 from 3-point range for 32 percent. They made 12-of-19 from the free-throw line for 63 percent.
The Saints won the rebound battle. They had 49, 37 on defense and 12 on offense, while the Rams had 45, 31 on defense and 14 on offense.
OLLU forced 24 turnovers and committed 22 fouls, while the Rams forced 20 turnovers and committed 25 fouls.
Upon the conclusion of the tournament, the selections for the 2016 Red River Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team were announced. Receiving the tournament MVP award was Taylor Hamilton. Along with Hamilton, Daniela Nopuente and Nakia Page were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Saints will await the announcement of their opponent in the NAIA DI Women's Basketball Championship Tournament on March 9 at 5 p.m. The tournament will take place in Independence, Mo. March 16-21.