WAXAHACHIE, TEXAS (March 5, 2012)—The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball team upset No. 2 seed LSU-Shreveport 76-73 to win the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Finals. With the win, the women advance to the NAIA National Tournament in Frankfort, Ky., March 14-20.
|Nashae Owens was named the tournament MVP.|
The Saints were off to a good start when Alisha Crump laid the ball into the basket on an assist from Jasmine Fuller. The Pilots quickly answered the score, tying the game at two. On the other end of the court, Nashae Owens added another two, making the score 4-3. Stacey Darnley quickly added another 3-pointer to put the Saints up 7-2.
The Pilots attempted to make a comeback on the Saints, but were unsuccessful as they had a hard time connecting with the net. Although at one point the Pilots came close to the Saints, they pulled ahead again and were able to maintain a solid lead. The Saints went into the locker room at halftime 13 points ahead of the Pilots 48-35.
OLLU had a strong first half offensively, out-rebounding the Pilots 30-15, which contributed to 10 second-chance points for the Saints. They were also shooting 45 percent from the field, and 21 percent from the free-throw line. They made 71 percent from the charity stripe. Head Coach Rusty Kennedy said the first half was an "emotional boost" for the team, "It's important to set your tone form the beginning."
At the half, Crump led the team in scoring with 10 points, closely followed by Darnley with eight and Owens with seven.
LSUS came back to the second half ready to give the Saints a run for their money, immediately sinking a 3-pointer, but Owens came back and put two on the board for the Saints. For the next couple of minutes the Saints struggled to make some of their shots, allowing the Pilots to creep up closely behind them. A 3-pointer by Chelsea Solis lit a spark for the Saints, sending them on a run to widen their lead over the Pilots, which did not last for long. The Pilots came right back from behind and reduced the Saints lead from 15 to four.
With 31 seconds remaining in the half, and the Pilots down by five, they made a 3-pointer while drawing a foul from Fuller. Since the Pilots were in the bonus, they got a one-and-one shot at the free throw line giving them a chance at a four-point play. They made the free throw getting within one point of the Saints at 73-74.
On the next possession, the Pilots fouled Owens, sending her to line, where she made both shots to put the Saints back up by three.
At 17.9 seconds, the Pilots had the last possession of the game. They tried hard to get the last 3-pointer to tie up the game, but the Saints' defense held them down. At the buzzer, the Saints were the tournament champions with a final score of 76-73.
Owens led in scoring with 19 points, followed by Crump with 12 points, and Darnley with 11. The Saints shot 40 percent of their field goals, made 35 percent of their 3-pointers, and shot 65 percent from the charity stripe.
The following players were named to the All-Conference Team, and received postseason awards
Defensive Player of the Year
Freshman of the Year
All-Conference First Team
All-Conference Second Team