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Oklahoma City Survives Shawnee State, 56-54

March 15, 2013
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FRANKFORT, Ky. - (Box Score) Defending national champion Oklahoma City escaped to the quarterfinal with a 56-54 win over Shawnee State (Ohio) on Friday morning at the 2013 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship. With the win, the Stars will face Lee (Tenn.) at 2 p.m. EDT on Friday at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Lauren Gober recorded 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead Oklahoma City. Gober shot 6-of-13 from the field and was 3-for-8 beyond the arc.

Oklahoma City looked to have the game wrapped up after a 20-1 run, spanning approximately 12 minutes of the first period, gave the Stars a 31-13 lead at the half. The Stars made 14-of-34 attempts (41.2 percent) from the floor, while their pressure defense held the Bears to only five field goals and 13 points.

Despite the deficit, Shawnee State, led by guard Alannah Sheets, came out fighting in the second half. The Bears, who trailed by as many as 18 points early in the frame, cut the Oklahoma City advantage to single-digits, 43-35, for the first time since the 8:09 mark of the first half when Sheets drained her second of four second half 3-pointers.

Shawnee State continued to chip away at the Stars' lead and eventually pulled within one point (55-54) with 1:48 remaining in regulation when Schera Sampson capped a 10-0 run. Following a pair of missed Oklahoma City free throws, the Bears had an opportunity to take its first lead of the contest, but a solid defensive effort by the Stars forced Shawnee State to attempt a difficult runner from the wing that fell short of the mark.

Oklahoma City's Kayla MacKenzie, who rebounded the miss, failed to covert her two bonus free throws, giving the Bears an opportunity to tie or win the game. The Stars' full-court pressure on the last possession kept Shawnee State from getting a good look at the basket as time expired.

Sheets matched Oklahoma City's entire offensive output in the second half with 25 points en route to a game-high 27 point effort for Shawnee State. She was 9-for-18 from the field, 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 5-for-6 at the foul line. As a team, Shawnee State ended the game shooting 38.3 percent from the field.

Oklahoma City and Shawnee State had met once previously with the Bears earning a 54-47 win in the 2011 national championship quarterfinals.

With the loss, Shawnee State ends its season with a 24-10 record.

NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Bracket Announcement