By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---In a matchup of two of the nation's top five scorers, Aja Hall (Fostoria/Fostoria, Ohio) and the No. 12 Owens Express women's basketball team defeated Breauna Rivoli-Johnson and Lake Michigan College 68-60 in the SHAC on Saturday afternoon.
Hall, who entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring, finished the game with 20 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and one block off the bench. While she finished only 4-for-10 from the field, Hall made 12 of 14 shots from the foul line. It was her third double-double this season, and the sophomore guard has scored at least 14 in each game this year.
Meanwhile, the nation's leading scorer, Breauna Rivoli-Johnson of Lake Michigan, entered the game averaging just under 28 points per contest, but she was frustrated most of the game offensively and finished with 16 points, four rebounds and five steals. Against the Express, Rivoli-Johnson finished 5-for-16 overall from the field, 0-for-1 from three point range, and 6-for-9 from the foul line.
Priscilla Miranda added 11 points, two rebounds, five assists and one steal for Lake Michigan.
Hall wasn't the only one crashing the boards for the Express as two others hit double-figures in rebounding. Emma-Jean Ricketts (Anthony Wayne/Waterville, Ohio) finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal, while Kieona Foster (Shawnee/Lima, Ohio) added six points, 10 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals.
Ricketts, a freshman forward, has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. It was her first double figure rebounding game. Foster, a 5'5" sophomore point guard, recorded her fifth double figure rebounding game of the year. She is the team's second leading rebounder behind Hall.
Mackenzie Heacock (Arlington/Arlington, Ohio) finished third on the team in scoring with 12 points, while also pulling down four boards. Uniqua Mitchell (Martin Luther King/Detroit, Mich.) finished with six points, six rebounds, a team-high seven assists, one block and one steal.
The Express won the battle at the free throw line and on the boards to win an otherwise statistically even game. The Express shot 23-for-37 from the foul line compared to 12-for-21 for Lake Michigan, while the Express had 54 rebounds (22 offensive) compared to 36 rebounds (10 offensive) for Lake Michigan. The Express held advantages in assists (13 to 8) and blocks (6 to 3), while Lake Michigan held advantages in turnovers (21 to 24) and steals (12 to 10).
Owens shot 21-for-61 overall from the field and 3-for-12 from three point range. Lake Michigan finished 23-for-61 from the field overall and 2-for-14 from three point range.
With Saturday's game, Hall now has 262 points this year and 734 points in her career. The latter puts her in a tie with Teresa Miller for 14th place on the career scoring list. Hall is on pace to become only the second women's basketball player at Owens to finish with 1,000 or more points.
Hailey Galvan (Archbold/Archbold, Ohio), the nation's leader in blocked shots, sat out her second consecutive game due to injury.
Owens, who led 30-25 at halftime, is now 10-3 this year. They will travel to University Center, Mich. to take on Delta College next Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.