By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---The No. 2 Owens Community College women's basketball team clinched at least a share of the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) title tonight with a 102-31 win over Lakeland Community College in the Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC).
Owens (28-0, 14-0 OCCAC) will look to secure the title outright when it travels to Clark State Community College on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup. Lakeland falls to 5-17 overall and 2-12 in OCCAC play with the loss.
Essence Cowan (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio) scored all of her game and season-high 25 points in the second half, while Jeryn Reese (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) and Kaylah Ivey (Westerville South/Westerville, Ohio) each had double-doubles. Ariel Bethea (Huron/Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Brenda Pennington (Bishop Noll/Hammond, Ind.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
Reese, who had 13 points, a game-high 15 rebounds and four assists, now has 870 career points and is just 16 points shy of passing Niccole Brown (2003-05, 885 points) for eighth place on the career scoring list. Furthermore, she now has 644 career rebounds and is 20 shy of breaking the career record set by Tammy Murphy (1996-98, 663). Tonight marked her eighth double-double of the season and the 22nd of her career.
Ivey, meanwhile, finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds to pick up her seventh double-double of the season. Tonight was also her 12th double digit rebound game of the season.
It was the second time this year that Reese and Ivey both recorded a double-double.
Lakeland led just once tonight - 5-4 with 8:32 left in the first quarter. Reese scored four straight points to give Owens the lead once they trailed, and then Ivey scored the next four to complete an 8-0 run.
Lakeland stopped the run with a Kayla Zarbock layup, but Owens closed the quarter on a 10-0 run. After Brianna Prugel made a pair of free throws for Lakeland to open the second quarter, Owens scored the game's next 12 points to open up a 34-9 lead with 5:12 left in the half.
Haili Mossing (Evergreen/Metamora, Ohio) converted a three-point-play late in the run, and Courizma Williams (Hughes/Cincinnati, Ohio) capped it with a layup.
Patricia Cistrunk ended that run with a 3-pointer before Owens then made another run by scoring 12 of the final 14 points in the half to take a 46-14 lead.
Prugel opened the second half with a layup, but Ivey hit a layup and Cowan made a pair of 3-pointers to help Owens take a 57-16 lead. Moments later, Cowan hit another 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper, and Bethea followed with five straight points to give Owens a 69-22 lead.
Sybil Roseboro (Elyria/Elyria, Ohio) hit a 3-pointer and Pennington made a layup to close the quarter with Owens up by 52.
Cowan opened the fourth quarter with a trio of 3-pointers during a 15-0 run. In fact, Owens held Lakeland scoreless over an eight-minute stretch from the end of the third through the first four minutes of the fourth. During that stretch, Owens scored 25 straight points and opened up an 89-22 lead.
Lakeland made a trio of 3-pointers over the game's final six minutes, but Owens picked up a 71-point win due to late layups from Olivia Frost (North Baltimore/North Baltimore, Ohio) and Denissa Sly (Northmont/Englewood, Ohio).
In addition to winning the past five OCCAC championships, Owens has also won six of the past seven and 10 overall since 1992-93. A win on Saturday would give the team all five titles outright.
Owens, which is now two more wins away from completing its third straight perfect conference season, has won 48 straight regular season conference games dating back to Feb. 1, 2014, as well as 42 straight regular season games dating back to Jan. 6 of last season.
Owens is now 73-1 at home since February of 2012. They have won 23 straight.
With tonight's win, Owens completed the season sweep of Lakeland after capturing a 91-30 win on Jan. 25. In those two wins, Cowan averaged 23 points.
Owens is now 42-15 all-time against Lakeland, including 17 straight wins in the series. Lakeland's last win against Owens came on Feb. 16, 2009.
Owens increased its school record total of 100-point efforts this year to 11. The previous record was nine, and it was set by last year's team.
Owens bumped its nation-best scoring average to 94.5 PPG tonight. They are also allowing just 45.2 PPG and outscoring its opponents by 49.3 points. In fact, they have outscored the competition by 1,381 points, which is 116 more than the total number of points they've given up this year.
No. 2 Owens WBB Routs Lakeland 102-31, Clinches Share Of Fifth Straight OCCAC Title
By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information