By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---A thrilling second half led to an overtime matchup between No. 8 Owens and No. 2 Cincinnati State. In the extra session, however, the Express went cold offensively as they fell 92-84.
Down 43-35 with 2:29 remaining in the first half, Hailey Galvan (Archbold/Archbold, OH) drove from midcourt to the hoop to score and spur a 9-0 Express run that gave her team a 44-43 lead heading into halftime. It would set up a back-and-forth second half. Emma-Jean Ricketts (Anthony Wayne/Waterville, OH) paced the Express with 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first half. The Express closed their run and gained the lead when Uniqua Mitchell (MLK/Detroit, MI) hit the first three pointer of the game for her team with seconds left in the first half.
The second half alone produced nine ties and nine lead changes. After a free throw by Kieona Foster (Shawnee/Lima, OH) tied the game at 71 with 4:46 remaining, Aja Hall (Fostoria/Fostoria, OH) hit a three to give the Express a three point lead. Cincinnati State's Dominique Fischer then drove to the hoop for a lay-up, Asia Dillingham hit a jumper, and Alexis Fitzpatrick hit a lay-up to give Cincinnati State a three point lead with 2:08 remaining.
Galvan then hit a lay-up to cut the deficit to one for the Express. A jumper by Cincinnati State's Kara McLemore pushed it back to three with 1:25 left in the game. Then, on a Cincinnati State possession with under a minute remaining, Fitzpatrick was stuffed by Galvan. Ricketts grabbed the board and passed to Foster, who then passed it to Mitchell, who hit a three in transition to tie the game for the 13th time with 18 seconds left at 79 all. After a 30 second timeout by Cincinnati State, Dillingham missed a jumper with a few seconds left. Taylor Frazier grabbed the offensive board and tried to put it back up, but Galvan rejected her at the buzzer to send it to overtime.
Cincinnati State then won the tip in the overtime period and proceeded to go on a 7-0 run before Mitchell hit a jumper in the paint. A free throw by Dillingham and a lay-up by McLemore then stretched it back to eight. Cincinnati State would then hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the deal and remain undefeated. Owens was outscored 13-5 in the extra session.
The biggest downfalls for the Express came at the foul line, where they missed 17 free throws and finished 19-for-36, and in the turnover battle as they had 23 compared to only 11 for Cincinnati State. Meanwhile, Cincinnati State made 25-for-39 from the foul line and outscored the Express in points off those turnovers 25 to 14.
Ricketts finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. She was 9-for-14 from the field, but 2-for-7 from the foul line. Mitchell produced 19 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 39 minutes, while Hall had 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal in 30 minutes. Foster chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal in 34 minutes. Before fouling out in the OT session, Foster played the final 17 minutes and 13 seconds of the second half with four fouls.
Galvan, in only 23 minutes, finished with eight points, four rebounds, nine blocks, one assist and one steal. Additionally, she now has 91 blocks in 16 games played. In four career games against Cincinnati State, Galvan has 38 blocks in 77 minutes.
McLemore led Cincinnati State with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, while Fischer had 17 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Dede Henry also had 17 points, while Dillingham had 11 points, seven rebounds, three steals and one block. Frazier had nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
The Express shot 30-for-70 overall and 5-for-12 from three point range. Cincinnati State shot 32-for-86 overall and 3-for-17 from three point range.
Owens is now 17-4 overall and 3-1 in the OCCAC, while Cincinnati State is 17-0 and 3-0 in the OCCAC. The Express will next see action this coming Wednesday on the road against Lakeland CC in Kirtland, OH beginning at 5:30 p.m.