By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Piqua, OH---The No. 7 Express women's basketball team finished the second half strong to defeat Edison Community College 67-56 as sophomore center Hailey Galvan broke the program's single season block record.
Down 35-26 with 16:34 remaining, the Express went on a 12-2 run over the next 3:33 to take a 38-37 lead. The run was highlighted by a steal and a lay-in from Karahn Scott that gave the Express their first lead of the half.
Edison would take the lead back at 39-38 with just over 12 minutes remaining, but another lay-in by Scott gave the Express the lead back for good. Once they were down 39-38, the Express went on a 13-0 run to gain control of the game. The closest Edison got after that was eight with just over two minutes remaining.
The victory helps the Express close out their regular season at 25-5 overall and 10-2 in the OCCAC. It is their third consecutive 25 plus win season, which is a program record.
Uniqua Mitchell led the Express with 17 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal. Aja Hall, who didn't play in the first half, finished with 13 points and five rebounds. She now has 995 career points and is just shy of becoming only the second Express women's basketball player with 1,000 career points.
Emma-Jean Ricketts added 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block, while Scott had eight points, eight rebounds and four steals. Sophomore point guard Kieona Foster added eight points, nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and one block.
With her three blocks tonight, Galvan now has 129 blocks this year and has eclipsed Brittany Darling's single-season record of 127 set in the 2009-10 season. Additionally, Galvan now has 231 career blocks, 17 short of Stephanie Galant's (1998-2000) career record of 248.
Despite Innocent's play, the Express outrebounded Edison 60-48 and also held advantages in assists (18-12), turnovers (11-19), steals (14-5), points in the paint (44-24) and bench points (19-14). Edison held advantages in blocks (11-6) and second chance points (15-11).
Tonight's game marked the sixth time this season the Express have reached at least 60 rebounds as a team. The 86 field goal attempts is the second most in one game for the Express this year.
Owens defeated Edison 62-48 in the SHAC on Feb. 1, but Innocent didn't play that game. Edison falls to 14-10 overall and 3-7 in the OCCAC.
The Express will now wait and see who their first opponent in the NJCAA Region XII tournament will be. Quarterfinal games will be held at the home site of the higher seeds on March 6, while the semifinals and finals will be held at Owens on March 9-10.