By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Kamilah Carter (Pioneer/Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Eboni Adams (Maple Heights/Cleveland, Ohio) each set new career-highs in scoring to lead the No. 4 Express women's cagers to a 98-44 win over Grand Rapids Community College in the SHAC.
Carter bucketed nine of 13 shots from the field, while finishing 3-for-6 from long range and 10-for-11 from the foul line. The sophomore point guard totaled 31 points, three steals and two assists.
The game, which marked the 13th consecutive win for the Express, saw them down 2-0 just 1:35 into the game. Carter then hit a corner 3-pointer and sank two free throws to give the Express the lead for good.
Later in the half, GRCC's Danielle Harrison's jump shot pulled her team within 25-11, but a lay-up from Carter started an 11-0 run to give her team a 36-11 lead with six minutes left. The run was capped by two free throws from Ashley Tunstall (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton, Ohio).
The Express then finished the half strong and took a 49-19 lead into the break. In those first 20 minutes, the Express produced 12 steals, committed only three turnovers and shot 12-for-12 from the foul line. They were also 17-for-40 (42.5 percent) from the field.
Carter's two last minute free throws in the first half gave her 23 points at the break. After starting the game 1-for-4, she went 6-for-6 and finished the half 7-for-10 from the field.
The Express also came out strong to start the second half as they opened on a 24-11 run to push their lead to 73-30 with 10:27 left. Adams scored the last points for the Express with 1:09 remaining before they dribbled out the final 22 seconds to secure the win.
Adams was a fast break machine today as the sophomore bagged 21 points on 10-for-18 shooting. She added five rebounds, a team-high four steals, three assists and two blocks. Paige Wright (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.) also scored in double figures with 11, while adding a team-high seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Hannah Griffin (Edgerton/Edgerton, Ohio) earned her first collegiate start today and produced six points (3-for-4 from the field), six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Tunstall, the other starter, struggled from the field while finishing with five points. However, she remained strong on the boards with a team-high 10 rebounds, along with three steals and two assists.
Defensively, the Express forced 26 turnovers from Grand Rapids, while swiping 21 steals. Additionally, the Express turned the ball over a season-low eight times, out-rebounded GRCC 45-37 (17-13 on the offensive glass) and finished 36-for-76 (47.4 percent) from the field, including an 8-for-19 (42.1 percent) finish from long range.
The Express finished a season-best 18-for-19 (94.7 percent) from the foul line. The starting five for the Express (Griffin, Tunstall, Wright, Adams and Carter) combined for 74 points, 16 assists, 13 steals and only one turnover.
Meanwhile, the Express bench produced five players with at least four points, led by LaKayra Carlisle's (Pershing/Detroit, Mich.) six points, Kheri Motley's (West Bloomfield/West Bloomfield, Mich.) six rebounds and Alyssa Lassey's (Ida/Ida, Mich.) three steals and two assists. The bench also produced four of the team's seven blocks.
GRCC (1-7) was led by Sara Karamol, who had 16 points and six rebounds. Danielle Harrison added a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Express are now 13-1 this year after losing their season-opener by two points to No. 2 Kirkwood Community College. Their next action will be on the road in Flint, Mich. against Mott Community College Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Today was the first game for the Express in two weeks. They defeated Kirtland Community College 84-51 on Dec. 7.
The Express, who completed a season sweep of GRCC with today's win (68-56 win on Nov. 13), posted new season bests in field goal percentage (47.4 percent), 3-point field goal percentage (42.1) and free throw percentage (94.7 percent). They also posted their second consecutive game of single digit turnovers and had season-highs in steals (21) and blocks (7). Their 98 points are second most this year behind their 101 point outburst vs Mercyhurst North East on Nov. 8. Their 54 point margin of victory is a season best, topping their 40 point win over Mercyhurst North East on Nov. 8.
Today's 31 counters for Carter toppled her previous season-high of 28 on Nov. 30 vs Kalamazoo Valley. She has scored in double figures in every game and is averaging 18.6 per contest. She had her best foul shooting game of the season (10-for-11) and tied her mark for most field goals in a game with nine, which she has now achieved three times this year.
Tunstall picked up her sixth double figure rebounding game and her first since Nov. 24 at Lake Erie JV when she set her season-high with 17. She is averaging 9.4 boards per contest.
Adams set new season and career-highs in scoring (21) and field goals made (10), which topped her previous highs of 19 points vs Monroe College on Nov. 9 and eight field goals made on Nov. 29 vs Lourdes University JV. The sophomore guard is averaging 12.6 points per contest.
The 13-1 start for this year's Express women ties the best 14 game start in program history as the 2010-11 team also started 13-1. Their 13 game winning streak is the third longest in program history as the 2009-10 team won 18 straight and the 1996-97 team won 17 straight. Interestingly enough, the 2009-10 team started 25-2 and the 1996-97 team started 28-2.
The game was broadcasted live on NJCAA TV. You can find the game by visiting www.ihigh.com/owenscc.