Cincinnati State Knocks Off No. 2 Owens 92-85 In Region XII District I Title Game

Cincinnati State Knocks Off No. 2 Owens 92-85 In Region XII District I Title Game

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Circleville, Ohio---The No. 2 Owens Community College women's basketball team saw its season end with a 92-85 loss to Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in the Region XII District I championship game at Ohio Christian University this afternoon.

With the loss, Owens finishes its season at 31-1 overall. Cincinnati State improves to 26-6 overall and will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Harrison, Ark. March 21-25.

Cincinnati State's Ashley Moore, who scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the first half, was named the tournament's MVP. She also had five rebounds, five steals and three assists today, while Cincinnati State also got 16 points form Takyra Gilbert and 12 points and 14 rebounds from Jacie Dickerson.

Owens was led once again by freshman point guard Brenda Pennington (Bishop Noll/Hammond, Ind.) who had 21 points. Courizma Williams (Hughes/Cincinnati, Ohio) added 16 points, while Kaylah Ivey (Westerville South/Westerville, Ohio) added 14 points, 11 rebounds and two assists. 

Owens saw its 33-game overall winning streak come to an end with the loss.

Cincinnati State opened the game on a 9-2 run and led 23-16 through one quarter. Down 44-35, Owens went on a 9-0 run led by seven points from Williams, who tied the game with 1:33 left in the half on a 3-pointer.

Owens had two straight possessions with a chance to take the lead, but turned it over each time. Cincinnati State's Tiarna Harfield then hit a 3-pointer to give her team a 47-44 lead at halftime.

Cincinnati State then opened the second half on a 10-3 run and led by 10 with 7:35 left in the quarter. Down 60-52, Owens got a 3-pointer and a free throw from Williams, followed by a layup from Ivey to pull within two.

Owens took a one-point lead, 65-64, following five straight points from Pennington, but Cincinnati State answered back on the next possession and pushed the lead to two following a Dickerson free throw.

Haili Mossing (Evergreen/Metamora, Ohio), who had just come off the bench, then drilled a 3-pointer to give Owens the lead, and Ariel Bethea (Huron/Ann Arbor, Mich.) added two free throws to give Owens a 70-67 lead with 41 seconds left in the quarter.

Mossing's two free throws with four seconds left gave Owens a 72-70 lead through three, and a jumper from Jeryn Reese (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) pushed the lead to four, the largest of the game for Owens, with 9:49 left.

Moore answered back with back-to-back layups, and then Chloe Baird hit a 3-pointer to give her team a 77-74 lead with seven minutes left. Gilbert added two free throws to complete a 9-0 run, and Owens never really recovered.

Pennington hit a layup with 3:01 left, and Denissa Sly (Northmont/Englewood, Ohio) converted a fast break layup off the glass to pull Owens within one just one possession later. 

Cincinnati State, however, got two free throws from Dameras Whitlock, who added a layup with two minutes left to give her team a five-point lead. Reese made a free throw to pull Owens within four moments later, but it was as close as her team got as Cincinnati State made its free throws down the stretch.

The game featured 63 fouls called, including 33 on Owens, who had four players foul out including Essence Cowan (Lima Senior/Lima, Ohio), Pennington, Williams and Bethea. Cincinnati State had three players reach four fouls, but nobody fouled out.

Owens also committed 23 turnovers, which led to 34 points for Cincinnati State.


Owens is now 6-7 all-time in district championship games, including a 3-5 record under head coach Michael Llanas, who had won two straight and three of the past four district championships entering this season.

Reese finished her career with 920 career points, which vaulted her past Elizabeth Harris for fifth on the program's career scoring list. She added seven rebounds today to push her career record total to 679.

Bethea closed her career with 247 steals, which is a program record.