|Huston-Tillotson (Texas) 13-11||15||18||14||24||71|
|Our Lady of the Lake (Tex 23-8||16||25||23||23||87|
|Mar. 2, 2018|
|Huston-Tillotson (Texas)||Indv. Leaders||Our Lady of the Lake (Tex|
|#10 Taylor Briggs - 21||Points||#14 Julia Rendon - 24|
|#21 Lolita Franklin - 9||Rebounds||3 Players - 4|
|#23 Dezarai Spencer - 5||Assists||#13 Quintianna LeShore - 6|
|Huston-Tillotson (Texas)||Team Statistics||Our Lady of the Lake (Tex|
|44.8% (26 - 58)||Field Goals %||43.7% (31 - 71)|
|25% (5 - 20)||3 Point Field Goals %||33.3% (10 - 30)|
|70% (14 - 20)||Free Throws||71.4% (15 - 21)|
|11||2nd Chance Pts||12|
LONGVIEW, TEXAS (March 1, 2018) – Second-seed Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball team overpowered the third-seed Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) Rams 87-71 in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) semifinals.
The Rams end their season with a 14-13 record. The Saints improve to 23-8 and will advance to the conference championships that take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. They will play the winner of fifth-seed LSU-Alexandria and league-champion LSU-Shreveport.
Head Coach Christopher Minner said, "Defensively, this was one of our better efforts. They really shoot well from the three, but we were able to stop them. We were able to settle down in the second half and start making shots. From about the five-minute mark in the third quarter through the end of the game, they couldn't stop us. We wore them out.
Discussing Julia Rendon (SR/San Antonio, Texas)'s game-high 24 points, Minner said, "if you decided to zone us, and we have a player like Rendon, that's not good. You heard me yelling to Rendon, 'keep shooting, keep shooting,' that's why. We are hard to defend."
When asked what he wants to accomplish tomorrow in the conference championship, Minner said, "I want to cut down the net, but another banner up in our gym and buy these girls some rings. We've overcome a lot this year, and they deserve it."
Today's win also clinches an automatic berth in the NAIA tournament for the Saints - their seventh in a row.
The teams started with anxiety from both sides with players missing three 3-pointers and a field goal before some nerves subsided. The Rams jumped ahead by five at the half-way mark. A field goal from Destinee King (JR/Antelope, Calif.) and a three from Julia Rendon gave the Saints the 14-10 lead after being down 5-10. The Saints closed out the first quarter with the 16-15 lead.
The second quarter was plagued by missed easy shots, well documented by Coach Minner. Almost five minutes passed before Lena Wilson (SO/Converse, Texas) finally got a basket in. The Rams came back to tie the game at 21, but the Saints were able to regain their composure to lead 31-26. Brianna Henson (JR/Dunlap, Ill.) drained a 3-pointer and she continued to play aggressively to keep the Saints' momentum. Kasey Saldana (SO/San Antonio, Texas) also made a three, but that was followed by two 3-point misses from Rendon. Henson closed out the half giving the Saints the 41-33 lead.
The Saints pushed the game out of reach in the third quarter despite Saints players taking difficult shots. He encouraged them to keep things simple and make the easy baskets. Rendon gave the Saints their first double-digit lead at 55-45 with two minutes left in the game. Rendon finished the quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Saints the 64-47 lead.
The Saints went up by a game-high 22 points in the final period. Minner had to remind the women to slow the game down and to continue taking easy shots. Tensions got high when OLLU's Francesca Patrick (SR/Killeen, Texas) and HTU's Celeste Laredo went for the ball and ended up tumbling around a few times – the Rams won the jump ball. The Saints closed out the game with the 87-71 win.
Rendon led the Saints with 24 points. She made seven 3-pointers, one field goal and one free throw. Patrick tallied 18 points, followed by Wilson with 11 and LeShore with 10.
Taylor Briggs scored 21 points for the Rams. Teammates Dezarai Spencer added 12 and Lolita Franklin had 10. Franklin also added nine rebounds, and Spencer tallied five assists. King had four steals, while LeShore added six assists for the Saints.
OLLU shot 31-of-71 from the field for .437, 10-of-30 from 3-point range for .333 and 15-of-21 from the charity stripe for .714. They recorded 30 rebounds and forced 23 turnovers.
HTU shot 26-of-58 from the field for .448, 5-of-20 from 3-point range for .250 and 14-of-20 from the free throw line for .700. They recorded 44 rebounds and forced seven turnovers.