By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---The No. 10 Express women's basketball team jumped out to a 24-point halftime lead before adding a school-record 67 second half points in a 113-59 win over Sinclair Community College in the SHAC today.
Led by Ashley Tunstall's (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton, Ohio) season-high 22 points, the Express offense shot 47-for-90 (52.2 percent) from the field in the lopsided win. Tunstall, alone, was 10-for-12 from the field and 2-for-2 from the foul line.
Sophomore point guard Kamilah Carter (Pioneer/Ann Arbor, Mich.), the conference's third leading scorer, nearly hit her average with 19 points, while adding five rebounds and one assist. She was the team's best 3-point shooter (3-for-5) as she accounted for half of the team's made 3-point field goals.
In the first half, the Express jumped out to a 9-0 lead before Sinclair got their first point via a free throw from Darnesha Wesley. LaKayra Carlisle (Pershing/Detroit, Mich.) hit a 3-pointer with 14:02 left in the half to give the Express a 21-4 lead. Sinclair's Breanna Ball would hit back-to-back jumpers to pull her team within 26-16, but that's as close as they would get the rest of the game.
Following Ball's jumpers, the Express went on a 10-1 run to take a 36-17 lead with 3:41 left in the half. They also closed the half on a 7-1 run to take a 46-22 lead into the break. In the second half, Sinclair didn't reach 46 points as a team until Ball hit a jumper with 6:54 left.
Up 91-51 with 4:37 left, the Express closed the game on a 22-8 run to get back on track after their 18-game win streak was snapped last week.
The Express finished 29-for-51 (56.9 percent) from the field in their 67-point second half.
Carlisle had her second straight solid game as she nearly picked up her second straight double-double. The freshman forward totaled seven points and a season-high 13 rebounds (four offensive).
In scoring, freshmen Zhana Randolph (Rochester/Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Imani Vickers (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) had big games off the bench. Randolph finished 6-for-12 from the field for a season-high 13 points, while Vickers was 6-for-8 from the field with a season-high 12 points. Randolph added a season-high six rebounds and three assists, while Vickers added two assists.
Paige Wright (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.), who didn't score for the first time all season in the loss to Columbus State, was held scoreless in today's first half before producing seven second half points, along with her 10 rebounds and team-high seven assists.
Kheri Motley (West Bloomfield/West Bloomfield, Mich.) also did well off the bench. The freshman had nine points, seven rebounds and a season-high six assists.
As a team, the Express out-rebounded Sinclair 69-36 overall and 24-15 in offensive boards. It marked the team's season-high in rebounds. They also held advantages in points off turnovers (18-7), second chance points (22-9), points in the paint (80-34) and bench points (56-39). Their largest lead was the final margin.
Ball and O'sha Owens each had 19 points off the bench for Sinclair, while Wesley added 11 points and nine rebounds from the starting lineup.
With the win, the Express improve to 19-2 overall and 5-1 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play, which is good for sole possession of first place. Sinclair fell to 12-13 overall and 4-3 in OCCAC play with the loss.
The Express will host Lakeland Community College at home in the SHAC on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
With her 19 points today, Carter now has 407 points this year. That puts her 25th on the single season scoring list as she passed Sarah Johnson (391, 2004-05), Robin Nesper (394, 1996-97), Karahn Scott (398, 2012-13), Janice Butzin (401, 1994-95), Niccole Brown (404, 2003-04) and Stephanie Galant (406, 1999-2000) today. Next up is Mackenzie Heacock's 409 points from 2012-13.