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Strong First Half Send Langston Into Second Round

March 15, 2012
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information

FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Box Score) Shontice Simmons tied a season-high with 25 points to help Langston (Okla.) to a 76-64 victory against Columbia (Mo.) in the first round of the 2012 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com. The 32nd annual event is being played at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.

With the victory, Langston improves to 4-6 in opening round contests and advances to play the winner of Lee (Tenn.)/Biola (Calif.) on Friday at 8 p.m. EST.

In addition to scoring, Simmons recorded a team-high nine rebounds, while Tayla Vaughn added 11 points, four rebounds and one block off the bench for the Lionesses.

Langston (30-3) seized control early, opening the game on a 15-3 run sparked by an Ayanna Jackson 3-point basket off a Simmons assist. Columbia answered back with seven straight of its own, but failed to hold down the aggressive Langston offense. The Lionesses scored three-straight baskets, including back-to-back buckets by Shantoya Fisher, extending their advantage back out to double-figures, 21-10. The game would only drop below 10 points once more for the remainder of the contest, as the Lionesses pushed the lead out to 46-26 at the half.

Despite the deficit, the Lady Cougars continued to battle in the second half. Columbia pulled the score within 11 (72-61) on a pair of Heather English free throws with 2:22 left in regulation, but Langston proved too strong down the stretch.

For the game, Langston shot 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the field, including 48.5 percent (16-of-33) in the first half.

Ashley Fisher came off the bench to lead Columbia with a season-high 23 points, while English chipped in 13 points, respectively. The Lady Cougars ended the contest shooting 37.1 percent (23-of-62) from the floor, 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from 3-point range and 82.4 percent (14-of-17) at the foul line.

With the loss, Columbia drops its third consecutive first round contest and ends the season with a 24-11 overall record.
NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Bracket Announcement