By: Ray Fink, Oklahoma Baptist Sports Information Director
SHAWNEE, Okla. - The NAIA DI Women's Basketball Game of the Week lived up to its billing, as No. 6 Oklahoma Baptist erased a 16 point halftime deficit to defeat No. 3 Oklahoma City 85-79 Thursday night at the Noble Complex.
OBU improved to 13-2 as the Lady Bison became the lone unbeaten team in Sooner Athletic Conference play at 5-0.
The Lady Bison shot just 32.1 percent from the field before intermission and turned the ball over 15 times, leading to 15 points for the Stars. OBU did not score a field goal the final 6:44 prior to the break, and trailed 29-45 at the half.
OBU responded in a big way, starting the second half on a 10-0 run. Junior guard Charity Fowler scored six points over the span.
A three-pointer from Autumn Lau put the Stars back up 10 points with 15:33 remaining, but it would be the last time either team would lead by double digits.
Jalissa Council's free throw with 5:24 left allowed OBU to even the score for the first time prior to halftime. She scored a layup inside of four minutes to give the Lady Bison a one-point advantage, a lead OBU would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest.
The Stars began to foul the Lady Bison late in the game, but OBU made enough free throws to survive for a six point victory.
As a team, OBU shot 62.9 percent for the second half, and outscored OCU 56-34 in the second frame. The Lady Bison committed just four turnovers after halftime while assisting on 18 of 22 made baskets.
"We were able to play with better energy in the second half," said OBU head coach Casi Bays. "We were able to get the ball down low to Jalissa [Council], who had a great game. Our plan was to keep attacking the basket."
Council was extremely productive for the Lady Bison. The reigning SAC Women's Basketball Player of the Week went off for a career-high 31 points on 13-18 shooting to go along with five rebounds.
"I just tried to do whatever I could to help out my team," said Council. "The defense was switching from man-to-man to zone, so my teammates did a good job of adjusting to get me the ball."
Fowler finished with 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds and seven assists. Senior Allie Brandenburg registered four steals, and Janell Beacham added 16 points in the winning effort.
Lau led the way for OCU, scoring 28 points on 10-17 shooting while pulling down five rebounds. She was 5-7 from behind the three-point arc.
The Lady Bison will travel to Bethany, Okla. to take on Southwestern Christian Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.