By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- The No. 10 ranked Owens Women's Basketball program may not be mighty in numbers, but the team doesn't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. The Express outscored the visiting Bryant & Stratton Bobcats by 14 in the second and third periods to claim a 87-52 win for their sixth straight victory.
Owens would hold just a six point lead after the first period at 20-14. But in the final ten minutes before halftime, the Express stepped on the accelerator and were able to build a 20 point lead heading into halftime. Liliana Velazquez caught fire from three, hitting four first half treys to help the Express build that double digit lead. Shyah Wheeler also had 11 first half points to help pace the Express.
Owens showed no signs of slowing down in the third quarter either. The Express would open the period on a 10-0 run to push their lead to 30 points off of a Wheeler layup with 7:41 to play in the third. The Express would push that lead as high as 36 points on the back of a Taylor Works three with 3:10 to play in the third period. With a healthy lead in hand heading to the fourth, Owens would cruise to their 35 point victory over Bryant & Stratton.
The story of the game was the contributions from the starting five. All of the Express starters finished in double figures scoring wise, led by Shyah Wheeler with a game high 27 points. The Elida, OH native used her quickness to get easy buckets in transition, which helped spur the Express scoring surge in the second and third periods. Wheeler also had nine rebounds and five steals in the contest.
Moreina Moore had a healthy stat line as well. The freshman scored 18 points on 8-17 shooting, and she also had eight rebounds and a team high seven assists. Taylor Works turned in another solid performance as well with 16 points, including 5-6 from the free throw line, and the sophomore also had six rebounds and five assists. Velazquez, who was hot from three in the first half, came up a point shy of tying her career high in points, finishing with 15.
Whitney Thames continued to be a rebounding machine for the Express. Thames had her third straight double dight rebound game with 15 in the game against the Bobcats, pushing her season average to 10.7 rebounds per game. Adding her 11 points into the mix, it was the freshman's third double-double on the season. Over the last three ball games, Thames is averaging 15.7 points per game and 15 rebounds per contest.
As stated earlier, this is the sixth win in a row for the women's basketball team, which is a season high. Owens is now 11-7 overall and they still are 5-1 in the OCCAC.
The Express are scheduled to be in action again this Saturday afternoon against Clark State at home. With inclement weather expected in the Northwest Ohio on Saturday, a decision on whether the game will be postponed will be made before the end of the week. Should the Express play the Eagles on Saturday, tip off is scheduled for 1 PM at the SHAC. Stay tuned to OwensExpress.com and the Owens Athletics Twitter feed regarding this weekend's games.
- Despite beating a ranked opponent last Wednesday and winning by a whopping 81 points on Saturday, the Owens Express fell a spot in the Division III rankings this week from No. 9 to No.10. Owens has been as high as No. 8 in the polls so far this season.