By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---A strong effort on the glass helped the No. 7 Owens Community College women's basketball team withstand a second half surge by Macomb Community College in an 83-66 win in the Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) today.
Macomb opened the game with back-to-back baskets to take a 5-0 lead through two and a half minutes before Mekaila Grose (Madison/Mansfield, Ohio) scored the first points for Owens on a second chance putback.
Aysah Ingram (Trotwood-Madison/Dayton, Ohio) followed with a pair of buckets in the paint to give Owens a 6-5 lead just a minute and a half later. Later, Tatyana Reynolds (Rogers/Toledo, Ohio) buried a 3-pointer and made a pair of free throws, Kyra Johnson (Stevenson/Livonia, Mich.) followed with a jumper in the paint and then Ingram closed the period with a layup to give Owens a 23-14 lead.
In the second period, it was all about long range shooting. Lakyn Gulley (South Side/Fort Wayne, Ind.) made four, including two at the start of the period and one in the final seconds. Reynolds also hit three from long range as Owens closed the first half with a 53-28 lead.
Overall, Owens was 10-for-21 from 3-point range in the first half. In the paint, Ingram had 10 points and nine rebounds through 20 minutes.
In the second half, however, Owens went cold from long distance. They finished just 1-for-10 in the final 20 minutes, which helped Macomb chip away at their deficit.
Gulley made her fifth 3-pointer of the game just one minute into the third period, but Macomb's Carly Vargo converted a 3-point play to pull her team within 19 five and a half minutes into the period.
Later, NaKyra Jordan closed the period with a fast break layup to pull Macomb within 14. In the third, Macomb outscored Owens 22-11, held a 12-4 advantage in points in the paint and scored eight points off turnovers.
In the fourth, Macomb pulled within 11 twice, with the second time coming with 7:50 left on a layup from Vargo. Reynolds answered the second shot with a pull up jumper just outside the paint to stem some of the momentum.
Grose then converted a second chance layup and hit a corner jumper to give Owens a 73-58 lead with 4:36 left. Following a pair of free throws from Briana Williams (Stebbins/Dayton, Ohio), Gulley swiped a pass and went coast to coast for a fast break layup and a 19 point lead.
From then on, Owens never led by fewer than 15 points.
Despite struggling in the second half, Owens held a 64-31 advantage in rebounds, including a 29-11 margin on the offensive glass, which was crucial in the win. Ingram and Jeryn Reese (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) combined to match Macomb's entire team total, while Owens held a 26-11 advantage in second chance points.
Reynolds posted a team-high 18 points, along with five rebounds. Gulley added 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals, and Williams had 14 points, eight assists, five rebounds and one steal.
Ingram added 15 points, 14 rebounds (nine offensive), one assist and one block, while Reese had eight points, a season-high 17 rebounds and two steals. It was the fourth double-double of the season for Ingram, who also picked up her fifth game with at least seven offensive rebounds.
Grose, who picked up her second start of the season, added nine points and eight rebounds. Both are season-high marks.
Vargo led Macomb (5-3) with 15 points. Leah Charrette added 13 and Courtney Aikens had 11. Vargo led her team in rebounds with eight, and Markela Snipes had game-high's in assists (11) and steals (3).
With the win, Owens improves to 8-4 overall. They will now open conference play by traveling to Cuyahoga Community College at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.