By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Kirtland, Ohio---The No. 3 Owens Community College women's basketball team was down at halftime, but rallied in the second half to pull out a 73-58 win over Lakeland Community College on the road tonight.
With the win, Owens picked up its 19th straight win, which breaks the previous program record for longest winning streak. Additionally, 11th year head coach Michael Llanas won his 250th career game at Owens.
On the road, Owens struggled offensively from the very start, but their bench provided a spark. After Lakeland opened the game on a 9-2 run, freshman guard Tatyana Reynolds (Rogers/Toledo, Ohio) hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Mikayla Ward (Huron/Ann Arbor, Mich.) later hit a jumper to tie the game at 14 with 11:44 left.
Lakeland's Peyton Neumore immediately followed with back-to-back 3-pointers, though, and Lakeland eventually pushed its lead to 25-16 with seven minutes left in the half. Later, with Lakeland up 29-20, Owens went on a 9-0 run to tie the game. The run was capped by back-to-back jumpers in the paint from Sierra Harley (Africentric/Columbus, Ohio) and Zhana Randolph (Rochester/Rochester Hills, Mich.).
Following that, Owens missed a chance to take the lead as they missed four straight free throws. Lakeland took advantage and held a 33-29 lead with less than a minute left. Kheri Motley (West Bloomfield/West Bloomfield, Mich.) hit a shot off the glass with 15 seconds left to pull Owens within two at the break.
Early in the second half, Randolph's fast break layup gave Owens its first lead since the game's first basket. However, Lakeland didn't give in and forced a 49-all and 52-all tie, with the second coming with 8:35 left.
At that point, Owens took control of the game with a 9-0 run. Ashley Tunstall (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton, Ohio) started the run with a steal and a fast break layup, followed by a 3-pointer from Harley and layups from Randolph and Ward.
Lakeland responded with a pair of free throws from Molly Walsh, but Owens went on a 10-0 run to take a 71-54 lead with 3:15 left.
Randolph, Harley and Courizma Williams (Hughes/Cincinnati, Ohio) all had 16 points to lead Owens in scoring, while Motley added seven. Tunstall had a team-high six rebounds, with all of them coming after halftime, while also producing team-highs in steals (6) and assists (4). Harley tied her for the team-high in assists, while adding five steals.
Harley and Randolph combined to shoot 14-for-27 from the field.
Walsh (16), Nicole Upshaw (13) and Neumore (10) led Lakeland in scoring.
Turnovers played a big part in the game as Lakeland had 26 compared to just 11 for Owens.
Owens (19-1 overall, 4-0 OCCAC) will take its program record 19 game winning streak on the road to Columbus State Community College on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Owens broke the previous 18-game winning streak record held by the 2013-14 and 2009-10 teams.
Llanas is now 250-88 overall in 10 plus years at Owens, including a 103-29 record in OCCAC play.