By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---The No. 12 Owens Express women's basketball team saw a 15 point second half lead, including a 13 point lead with 6:11 remaining, disappear in a 79-75 loss to NJCAA Div. I Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College in the championship game of the Owens Tip Off Classic.
Hillsborough started the game off strong as they took a 19-9 lead with 15:20 remaining in the first half. The Express then went on an 11-0 run to take a one point lead. The game was tied at 35 with 5:54 remaining before Owens went on an 11-2 run. The Express finished the half with a 46-39 lead.
In the second half, Owens continued to surge as they pushed their lead to 15 at three different points, with the last one being at the 10:35 mark. Over the next six minutes and 52 seconds, Hillsborough went on a 22-7 run to tie the game. Then, after Emma-Jean Ricketts (Anthony Wayne/Waterville, Ohio) put Owens up 75-73 with 2:24 remaining, Hillsborough went on a 6-0 run to close the game.
Aja Hall (Fostoria/Fostoria, Ohio) continued a fine start to her sophomore season with a team-high 23 points for Owens. While also adding seven rebounds, Hall now has 563 career points and is 26th on the career scoring list for the Express.
Mackenzie Heackock (Arlington/Arlington, Ohio) had her fourth straight double figure game with 14 points - including five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Uniqua Mitchell (Martin Luther King/Detroit, Mich.) added 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and one block, while Kieona Foster (Shawnee/Lima, Ohio) had 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and one steal.
Ricketts was the fifth player for Owens to score in double figures as she had 10 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Hailey Galvan (Archbold/Archbold, Ohio) had four points, seven rebounds and four blocks to push her four game block total to 31.
The Express shot 26-for-64 (40.6%) overall, but only 9-for-27 (33.3%) in the second half. Meanwhile, Hillsborough shot 27-for-73 (37%) overall, including 37.2% in the first half and 36.7% in the second half.
Owens also fell one three point field goal attempt short of tying a school record as they went 10-for-33 (30.3%) from the three point line. The three pointer was a constant for both teams throughout the game as Hillsborough finished 12-for-28 (42.9%) behind the line.
Erica Askew led Hillsborough with 23 points, while Yashira Delgado had 17 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and four steals. Delgado sealed the game in the final minute at the free throw line. Adoniah Lewis chipped in 15 points and Janai Merritt had 12.
The Express (3-1) are now off until Nov. 18 when they travel to Ashland, Ohio to take on Ashland University's club team at 6 p.m.