Stars Shine in Quarterfinal Win
"Their (Lindsey Wilson’s) strength is getting to the basket," said Oklahoma City Head Coach Bo Overton. "Our transition defense was good and we played the zone to keep them from driving. I thought the key was rebounding out of it, which I think we did a great job of."
With the win, Oklahoma City – making their 23rd appearance – improves to 69-14 in national championship play. The Stars have won eight national titles. Oklahoma City’s semifinal opponent will be the winner of the No. 1 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)-No. 3 Campbellsville game. Tipoff is 6 p.m. MDT Monday.
“We don’t win that game without everyone playing well,” added Overton. “I’m just really proud of the way we came out.”
Lindsey Wilson’s Chanel Roberts opened the game’s scoring with 15-foot jumper. Wallen answered for OCU for a 2-2 tie. That was the flow of game’s first five minutes. Then, at the 5:02 mark of the quarter, with Lindsey Wilson leading, 9-7, the Blue Raiders J’Nayah Hall picked up her second foul and was quickly taken out of the game.
Oklahoma City took immediate advantage of the Lindsey Wilson star on the bench. Wallen missed an inside shot, but grabbed the offensive rebound and passed to Galindo for the easy layup and a 9-9 tie. The layup not only tied the game, but ignited a 16-2 run to close out the first quarter.
The Stars continued their red-hot pace with 12-1 run to open the second quarter to lead 30-13. Midway through second quarter Galindo scored again to give OCU an18-point lead, 36-18. Oklahoma City maintained that double-digit lead over the rest of the quarter and led 45-32 at the break.
The Blue Raiders began to find their stride beginning in the third quarter, as the club began to chip away at the OCU lead.
Lindsey Wilson’s leading scorer Kayla Stiles missed a shot, got her own rebound and put back to cut the Stars lead to 48-40, the smallest margin for at least a quarter. Oklahoma City built the lead back to double digits and held that for almost the entire final four minutes of the stanza.
The Blue Raiders’ Teanna Curry put a shot of momentum into the Lindsey Wilson attack with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the third quarter.
Curry’s shot was the start of 7-0 Lindsey Wilson run that trimmed the Stars lead to 62-57 with 7:54 left in the game, however, that was as close as the Blue Raiders would get. OCU responded quickly with their own 9-2 run, which built their back to double digits, 71-58. The Stars lead eventually grew to 15 and OCU held off every Blue Raider charge.
Wallen, the NAIA’s leading scorer, scored 12 of OCU’s first 21 points. Her 22 points was her 19th-straight game with 20 points-or-more in 29 games this season. She also led the Stars in rebounding with eight.
For Lindsey Wilson, Styles led with 20 points and 15 rebounds. It’s her 34th double-double. She has averaged 25.5 points in her last three games.
Lindsey Wilson is the second number one seed to fall in the tournament, joining Shawnee State (Ohio), which fell in the first round to tournament Cinderella William Woods (Mo.). The Blue Raiders were making their 12th appearance in the championship, but have yet to advance to the semifinals. At the 2016 championship, Lindsey lost to eventual national champion MidAmerican Nazarene.
The Blue Raiders end their season with a 32-3 record.