By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
After a tight period and a half, #9 Owens was able to pull away from the hosting Lakeland Lakers, thanks in large part to a double-double on behalf of freshman Dai'Shona Polk, to win 68-56. Polk would score 12 of her game high 23 points in the second period, and she would add five more in the third to help the Express build a double digit lead before heading to the fourth quarter.
The game was a close affair early on with the two teams trading the lead back and forth over the first ten minutes. Lakeland would lead Owens 14-13 after the first quarter. The game would stay tight until the 3:06 mark in the second quarter, when Polk would tie the game up at 24 on a jumper. The Canton native would score six of the team's final 10 points of the quarter, as the Express hit the locker room with a 36-29 lead at the break.
In the third, Owens would push their lead to double digits with 5:07 to play in the third after a Polk three pointer. The lead would hover around 10 for the Express until the late stages of the quarter, until the Express finished the quarter on a 9-1 run to push their lead to 14 going into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Lakers had opportunities in the fourth quarter, but they were not able to convert from the field. Lakeland took twice as many shots as Owens did in the fourth quarter but only converted on five shots, and the Express were able to finish off their road win.
As mentioned, Polk finished with a game high 23 points to lead all scorers on 10-15 shooting from the floor, and she also finished with a game high 12 rebounds for a double-double. It is the fifth time she has achieved that stat line this season.
The Express had two other players score in double figures scoring wise. Freshman Da'Vina Shelton finished the game with 13 points on 5-11 shooting. Sophomore Brenda Pennington added 10 points on 4-7 shooting and she finished with a team high five assists in the ballgame. Owens would shoot 50% (26-53) from the field total for the ballgame.
The win moves Owens now to 16-4 on the season and 6-1 in OCCAC play. The win moves the Express within a game behind league leader Sinclair. The loss drops Lakeland to 11-4 overall and 4-2 in the OCCAC. Owens will next be in action on Saturday afternoon at Clark State, who is 2-9 overall and just 1-5 in the OCCAC. Tip-off from Springfield will be at 1:00 PM.