By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Morristown, Tenn.---Lakyn Gulley (South Side/Fort Wayne, Ind.) had a game-high 22 points to lead the No. 4 Owens Community College women's basketball team past Roane State Community College in the finale of the Walters State Classic this afternoon.
Gulley finished 8-for-18 from the field, including four 3-pointers, over 37 minutes. She scored 15 of her 22 points in the second half, where she shot 5-for-8 from the field and 3-for-6 from 3-point range.
Roane State started the game strong to take a 14-4 lead about seven minutes into the game. Owens answered with a 6-0 run, but trailed by seven at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, Briana Williams (Stebbins/Dayton, Ohio) started another 6-0 run right away, but Roane State answered, once again, and led 25-18 with 3:46 left in the half. Following that, Gulley drained her first 3-pointer of the game and it seemed to energize Owens, who pulled within three at the half.
In the first half, Owens forced 13 Roane State turnovers, but shot just 11-for-42 (26.2 percent) from the field, including a 1-for-13 performance from 3-point range.
That would all change in the second half as Owens exploded for 49 points over the final two quarters.
The third quarter featured 48 total points, while neither team led by more than four during back-and-forth action. Roane State took a 53-50 lead at the buzzer when Ema Plentauskaite buried a 3-pointer from the right wing.
Gulley opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to spur a quarter-opening 9-0 run that gave Owens a six point lead with 7:25 left. Ariel Bethea (Huron/Ann Arbor, Mich.) had four points during the run and Owens never relinquished its lead.
Moments later, a 3-pointer from Williams pushed the lead to seven. The lead didn't fall below five, and the game was put out of reach when Tatyana Reynolds (Rogers/Toledo, Ohio) hit a 3-pointer with 1:34 left that made it 71-60.
In the second half, Owens finished 18-for-37 (48.6 percent) overall from the field, including a 6-for-13 (46.2 percent) tally from 3-point range. They forced 13 more Roane State turnovers and had 11 fewer turnovers than their counterparts.
Aside from her 22 points, Gulley added five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Jeryn Reese (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) added 15 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, two blocks and one assist before fouling out late.
Reynolds finished 6-for-11 from the field off the bench for 14 points, and Williams totaled 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Furthermore, Aysah Ingram (Trotwood-Madison/Trotwood, Ohio) had 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals, while Bethea had a team-high nine steals along with eight points and six assists.
Haley Cornellison led Roane State with 18 points.
With the win, Owens improves to 1-1 this year, and they will be back in action on Wednesday against Muskegon Community College at home beginning at 6 p.m.
Through two games, Reese (10.5) and Ingram (10) are averaging double figures in rebounds. Twenty of their 41 total rebounds have come on the offensive glass.
Roane State is an NJCAA Division I team. Owens is now 2-0 all-time against them after a 90-79 win at home last year.