By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Roscommon, MI---The No. 12 Owens Express women's basketball team won their second straight game without their leading scorer, Aja Hall (Fostoria/Fostoria, Ohio), in a 74-44 win over Kirtland Community College Friday night.
The win marked the team's fifth consecutive overall and their third straight by exactly 30 points. Two of those three wins have now come by a 74-44 score. Hall (19.3 points per contest) missed her second consecutive game, while Hailey Galvan (Archbold/Archbold, Ohio), the nation's top shot blocker (6.3 per game), missed her fifth consecutive contest.
The Express jumped out to a 48-22 lead at the half. They only scored seven points in the first ten minutes of the second half, but had 19 in the second ten minutes. They held the Firebirds to 22 points in each half. The largest lead for the Express was 34 with 3:46 remaining in the second half.
Kieona Foster (Shawnee/Lima, Ohio) produced season-highs in points, field goals made, field goal percentage, free throws made and steals to lead the Express. The sophomore point guard finished with 16 points as she went 5-for-7 from the field and 6-for-7 from the foul line. She also had three rebounds, tied for the team-high in assists with four, was second on the team in steals with six, and had a team-high two blocks.
Emma-Jean Ricketts (Anthony Wayne/Waterville, Ohio) and Uniqua Mitchell (Martin Luther King/Detroit, Mich.) each produced 12 points for the Express. Ricketts added three rebounds and four assists, while Mitchell added six rebounds and one steal.
Karahn Scott (Scott/Toledo, Ohio) was the fourth and final Owens player in double figures with 11. She also added a team-high nine rebounds (five offensive), three steals and one block. Ricketts, Foster and Danielle Bezeau (Swanton/Swanton, Ohio) each had four assists to lead the team. Bezeau added a team-high seven steals, as well, to go along with her six points and five rebounds.
Alyssa Lassey (Ida/Ida, Mich.) added season-highs in points (9), field goals made (4), and minutes (22). She added three assists and one rebound. Mackenzie Heacock (Arlington/Arlington, Ohio) had six points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Owens shot 29-for-61 (47.5 percent) overall from the field, 5-for-12 (41.7 percent) from three point range and 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) from the foul line. Kirtland shot 19-for-50 (38 percent) from the field overall, 5-for-19 (26.3 percent) from three point range and 1-for-2 (50 percent) from the foul line.
The Express outrebounded Kirtland 41 to 23, including a 16 to 4 advantage on the offensive glass. They also produced more assists (19 to 12), less turnovers (19 to 28), more blocks (3 to 2), more steals (18 to 6), more points in the paint (42 to 12), more points off turnovers (32 to 13), more second chance points (11 to 2) and more bench points (17 to 10).
Brooke Arnold led Kirtland (5-4) in scoring with 12 points. She was the only Firebird in double figures.
The Express (13-3) will next play on Jan. 7 against Columbus State Community College at 1 p.m. in the SHAC.