Tipoff is Tuesday at 7:02 p.m. at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. The game will be distributed on ESPN 3. The Stars will play the winner of No. 1 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and No. 2 Vanguard (Calif.).
“It really is a long road, but the fun part about it is doing it with these players,” said Oklahoma City Head Coach Bo Overton. “It’s easy for us coaches because you just kind of give them a plan and they go do it.”
The first quarter began like a national championship semifinal game should. Although instead of a battle between Oklahoma City and Campbellsville, it was more of a battle of the Daniella’s of OCU and the Madison’s of CU. Daniella Galindo and Daniella Wallen combined for half of the Stars first quarter scoring, while Madison Clements and Madison Stewart combine for 18 of the Tigers’ 23 points.
The second quarter was played at the same torrid pace of the first. Campbellsville had a bit of an edge early in the quarter fueled by baskets by Stewart and Clements and a 28-24 lead at the 8:09 mark of the frame.
With the scored tied at 35, Galindo hit a 3-pointer, which sparked and 11-3 Stars’ run to finish out the second quarter. OCU’s Daniella Duo combined for 34 of the Stars 46 first half points, with Wallen scoring 12 of those. OCU hit 60 percent (12-of-17) of their field goals and scored 12 points off Tiger turnovers compared to five Tiger points off of OCU turnovers.
Oklahoma City led by eight at the halftime break, which was the largest lead by either time in the first half. The Tigers hit 50 percent of their half time shots and the Madisons combined for 23 of CU’s 38 half time points.
Galindo opened the second half scoring 20 seconds into the third quarter and a 10-point OCU lead 48-38. Campbellsville’s Emily Fox hit a three for the Tigers at the 8:07 mark of the frame and the start of mini 8-3 run to cut OCU’s lead to five, 51-46. Oklahoma City’s Galindo hit a 3-pointer that kicked off a 10-0 run that give the Stars a 61-51 lead with 2:02 left in the quarter. The Stars led by seven 63-56 to end the third quarter.
Campbellsville opened the final frame with a 6-3 run trimming the OCU lead down to four, 66-62, the closest the Tigers had been since the first quarter. It was also as close as CU would get the reminder of the game.
The Stars NaShyla Hammonds stepped to the free throw line at the 7:31 mark of the quarter and dropped two free throws. Those two points sparked an 11-0 run for Oklahoma City and an 11-point lead with 5:23 to play in the game.
Campbellsville made runs at the OCU lead, but could only trim the lead down to five,
79-74 with two minutes left in the game. With every Tiger run, Oklahoma City would answer with one or two baskets to add distance that CU would be unable to overcome.
Oklahoma City recorded the best shooting percentage (61 percent) of any team in the tournament. The previous best was OCU’s 57.6 percent in their second round victory over Montana Western.
Wallen led the Stars with 33 points followed by Galindo with 30. OCU scored 26 points off Tiger turnovers. The Stars go into the championship game with a 33-2 record.
Four players scored in double figures for the Tigers led by Stewart with 21, Clements with 18, and Emily Fox and Jordan Doram with 12 each. The teams played in the 2015 championship game with the Stars winning 80-65.