By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Columbus, Ohio---Ariel Bethea (Huron/Ann Arbor, Mich.) scored a career-high 28 points and inched closer to the program's career steals record as the No. 3 Owens Community College women's basketball team stayed undefeated with a 104-60 win over Columbus State Community College on the road this afternoon.
With the win, Owens is now 17-0 overall and 4-0 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play. They will be back in action on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against Edsion Community College in the Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC). Columbus State fell to 4-9 overall and 1-3 in OCCAC play.
Owens has now scored at least 100 points (107 PPG) in three straight games and seven times overall this year. Speaking of streaks, Owens extended its regular season winning streak to 31 and its regular season conference winning streak to 38. Both are already records.
Interestingly enough, Columbus State was the last team to defeat Owens prior to the beginning of the regular season conference winning streak, and today's 60-point output was the most Owens has given up this year. It was far fewer, however, than the 108.5 points per game Columbus State was averaging over its past two games coming into today.
Owens has now outscored its opponents by 860 points this year, which is 92 more than the total number of points they've given up. Following today, the team's average margin of victory sits at 50.6 points per game, they're allowing just 45.2 points per game, and the team is scoring 95.8 points per game offensively.
Today, Owens overcame a 24-16 discrepancy in fouls that didn't seem as close as that behind Bethea's 28 points off the bench, along with Jeryn Reese's (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) 20 points and 17 rebounds. The team also finished 14-for-14 from the foul line to shatter the previous single game team free throw percentage record.
With her big day, Bethea not only eclipsed 500 career points, but she also pushed her career steal total up to 174, which is three away from breaking the program record. She finished today with 513 points and is just 23 points away from matching her point total from all of last season. Additionally, she now has eight games with at least five steals this year.
For Reese, it was her fourth double-double of the season and the 18th of her career. With her 20 points, she remains in 18th place on the career scoring list with 724 points, and she is 11 away from passing Teresa Miller, who scored 734 points from 1992-95.
Essence Cowan (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) added 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Brenda Pennington (Bishop Noll/Hammond, Ind.) had 13 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals.
Columbus State's Carli Codner-Pinto, who leads the conference in scoring at 25.2 PPG and sits at 24.7 PPG overall this year, was stifled by the defense of Owens. She finished 2-for-17 from the field, including a 1-for-11 performance from 3-point range - both of which were the worst lines of her season. She did, however, finish 14-for-14 from the foul line, which was the same output Owens had as a team, to finish with a team-high 19 points. On top of all that, the Owens defense forced Codner-Pinto into a career-high 15 turnovers.
Allyse Rutter (18) and Hunter Kershaw (14) also scored in double figures for Columbus State, while Antishay Rahim had a team-high eight rebounds.
Owens outrebounded Columbus State 63-34 overall due in large part to Reese's 17 boards along with 10 from Haili Mossing (Evergreen/Metamora, Ohio), who tied her season-high in rebounds.
Early on, Owens scored the first nine points of the game and jumped out to a 12-2 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers from Cowan, who made another 3-pointer a little later to push the lead back up to 10. Mossing hit a jumper following an offensive rebound with 2:21 left to give Owens a 25-12 lead.
Rutter, who had a big first half, hit a 3-pointer just 1:26 into the second quarter to trim her team's deficit to five, but Owens answered quickly. Pennington hit a layup and then dished to Sybil Roseboro (Elyria/Elyria, Ohio) for a 3-pointer to quickly double the lead.
Just over midway through the quarter, Courizma Williams (Hughes/Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a deep 3-pointer for an 11-point lead, but Rutter hit a jumper and a layup to bring her team within seven with 3:29 left.
Pennington, though, keyed a strong finish to the half for Owens as she converted a layup and then made a 3-pointer from the left corner to spur a 9-0 run, which was capped by a layup from Reese to give Owens a 49-33 lead.
Kershaw made 1-for-2 at the foul line with five seconds left to trim the Owens advantage to 15 at the break.
Following a first half in which the team committed 13 turnovers, Owens stepped on the gas over the final 20 minutes. They only turned the ball over three times, assisted on nine of 20 field goals, forced 14 turnovers and held Columbus State to a 4-for-24 finish from the field - including zero field goals in the final 10:46.
Columbus State was within as few as 13 early in the third quarter, and Owens led by just 14 with 3:35 left in the third quarter following another jumper from Rutter, but Owens closed the quarter on an 11-2 run to open up a 23-point lead. Mossing closed the run with a 3-pointer.
Following a layup from Columbus State's Keyvona Davis with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, Owens scored the next seven points and gradually increased its lead. Bethea's layup made it 85-55 with 6:33 left, and her two free throws with 1:38 left made it 100-60.
In the final quarter, Bethea scored 13 points, and her defense played a large role in helping Owens hold Columbus State to an 0-for-13 finish from the field, including an 0-for-5 mark from long-range. On top of that, Owens outscored Columbus State 20-0 in the paint, 12-0 off turnovers, 13-2 in second chance points and 19-0 in bench points in the fourth quarter alone.
Kaylah Ivey (Westerville South/Westerville, Ohio), who was playing in front of a large cheering section, had a team-high four blocks for Owens in just 18 minutes due to foul trouble. She added four points and five rebounds. Denissa Sly (Northmont/Englewood, Ohio) added four points, three rebounds and two steals in seven minutes.