Alva Review-Courier -

Defense lifts Lady Rangers over NSU in GAC opener, 63-54


November 30, 2018

Trey Lunn

Senior foward Mackenzie Billy steals the ball in Thursday's game versus Southern Nazarene.

ALVA, Okla. – For the second time in as many seasons, the Northwestern Oklahoma State University women's basketball was victorious in their conference opener as a defensive effort by the Lady Rangers was key in a 63-54 win over the Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm.

Northwestern improved its record to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in Great American Conference play with the victory, while the Crimson Storm remain winless at 0-5 and 0-1.

The Lady Rangers are back in action Saturday afternoon when Oklahoma Baptist visits Percefull Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Southern Nazarene's 54 points was the fewest the Crimson Storm have scored in a game this season, including a loss to then No. 1 Central Missouri.

Of the Crimson Storm's 24 turnovers on the night, 19 were steals by the Lady Rangers. Kalea King, Jakeria Otey and Deja Beechum each had four steals, Bailey Brown and McKenzie Billy had two and Kyleigh Leverich picked up one takeaway.

On the offensive end of the floor, King and Brown continued to roll with 23 and 22 points, respectively. The pair are averaging 22 points each over the past three games.

Southern Nazarene held on to a 38-27 lead at the break, but the Lady Rangers dominated the third quarter as they outscored the Crimson Storm 22-6. King kicked off the quarter with a three-pointer to set the tone in the stanza and Brown was outstanding in the paint with four layups.

Brown had seven rebounds behind a team high nine boards from Billy, a new career high for the senior.

Northwestern finished the game with 16 fast break points and had an outstanding 21 points off turnovers.

It was a steal that led to a transition basket at the 1:22 mark of the third quarter to put the Lady Rangers on the high side of the score for the first time since the opening minute of the game. Beechum was able to pick the pocket of Kennedy Gillette to set up a Brown layup to put the home team up 43-42.

Trey Lunn

Sophomore forward Bailey Brown scores the layup.

The Lady Rangers continued to control the game as the two teams went into the final 10 minutes of play, stretching the lead to 15 with just under three minutes to go when Jade Jones found Brown on the fast break for an easy two.

With under seven minute to go, the Crimson Storm looked as if they would make a late push. However, Billy hit a three from left wing to stifle any hopes by SNU. Jones picked up one of her five assists in the game on the basket.

Billy finished with six points, as did Presley Payahsape. Jones added three points, Beechum had two and Otey finished with one point.

Abby Niehues was the lone double-figure scorer for Southern Nazarene with 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. She also added six blocks and two steals to her line.


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