Odessa College uses strong third quarter to dispatch South Georgia Tech, 58-44
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 2 seed Odessa College got double-figure scoring from three players and used a 20-6 third quarter surge to outlast upset-minded No. 15 seed South Georgia Tech, 58-47, in the second round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday at the Rip Griffin Center.
Mariah McCully led the Wranglers (29-1) with 16 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and China Fair added 13. Leticia Soares chipped in with 11 points.
“We were sluggish at times but I thought we played hard and played well defensively,” Odessa College head coach Ara Baten said. “(In the third quarter) I just thought we did a better job of getting stops, getting out in transition and getting our big people running. We got some easy baskets in the third quarter just kind of wearing them down a bit.”
Odessa College moves on to the quarterfinals to face either Tallahassee Community College or Shelton State College at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
The game was tied at 21 in the first half as each team asserted itself at different times. But it was the third quarter where the Wranglers made it stick.
A 14-4 run to close the quarter took a tentative 27-23 lead and turned it into a 41-27 advantage, and the Lady Jets (30-5) could never close the gap enough to get completely back into the game.
Trakyra Kid led the Lady Jets with 12 points and Shaineequah Fluellun added 10. South Georgia Tech, however, was just 1-for-10 from three-point range and committed 28 turnovers that led to 21 points for the Wranglers.
“Today we had every opportunity in the word to be successful,” South Georgia Tech head coach James Frey said. “Today we just gave the basketball away too much. Odessa’s a great club, deserves all the credit in the world and made some shots in the second half, but I thought we did a lot to give them a lot of opportunities with 28 turnovers.”
Odessa College came out strong and showed why they are the second seed in the tournament, scoring seven of the game’s first nine points highlighted by a LaLa Robinson three-pointer.
But South Georgia Tech showed it has no nerves, having played in the opening round on Monday. The Lady Jets pulled to within 10-8 to close the quarter and were within 14-12 early in the second quarter.
Odessa then scored five straight points capped by Fair trey to make it a 19-12 lead and give the Wranglers the momentum in the game. But South Georgia Tech answered again, closing the first half with a 9-2 run to knot the game at 21 going into the intermission.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, but South Georgia Tech was a bit more efficient, hitting on 38.5 percent (10 of 26) while Odessa was just 9 of 29. The Wranglers also failed to take advantage of chances at the free-throw line, going just 1 for 6, and South Georgia Tech outrebounded Odessa 22-10, which helped negate the 16 turnovers.
McCully led the Wranglers with seven points, and likewise, Houlfat Mahouchiza had seven for the Lady Jets