WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Eastern gets dominant win over Western

Derek Hatridge, McAlester News-Capital, Okla.
·2 min read

Mar. 18—WILBURTON — The Lady Mountaineers are chasing history.

Eastern (13-2, 11-1) faced off against Western (3-10, 1-8) in a spring break conference tilt on Thursday, with the Lady Mountaineers running full speed ahead to the 93-49 win and inching closer to the dream of a Region II conference title — a feat that has not been done since 2001.

The Pioneers struck first, but Ashley Rubio answered with a bucket for Eastern. A triple by Tijanae Simmons put the Lady Mountaineers out in front, but Western responded with a scoring run to put itself ahead 11-8 early in the first quarter.

From that point, the Lady Mountaineers responded with ferocity, rolling out a 17-5 scoring run to jump back into the lead 25-16 heading into the second quarter.

In that second period, the two teams started by trading buckets in the opening minutes. But Eastern turned on the afterburners on the offensive end, as Shanequa Henry drilled a three to put some separation between her team and the Pioneers.

Tilan Nolan added five quick points, followed by Henry with an old-fashioned three-point play. The scoring barrage continued as Simmons shook off her defender and nailed a three-point shot on the way to a 60-24 lead at the half — all while holding Western to just 8 points in the quarter.

The scoring slowed slightly in the start to the second half, as Simmons and Rubio recorded a pair of buckets to get Eastern moving once again. But the Pioneers took advantage, and a scoring run forced a timeout from the Lady Mountaineers.

Brayanna Polk swished a triple from the top of the arc on the other side, followed by a corner jumper from Crystal Ortiz and a steal-and-score by Henry to put Eastern up 81-33 after three quarters.

Eastern never let up off the accelerator, and rode the freeway of momentum to the dominant home win.

The Lady Mountaineers will next hit the road for a two-game trip against Seminole State and Redlands before returning home to take on NOC-Tonkawa on March. 29 in the final home game of the season.

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.