COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Owls women's basketball team went blow for blow with LSU – Shreveport on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Emma 'Ody' Pohl Gymnasium. Despite beginning the game down 12-2 in the first quarter, the Owls were able to rally together to defeat the Pilots 58-56 and improve to 4-1 on the season.
Junior guard Qiayon Bailey really stepped up for the Owls offense. The West Point, Miss. native went 10 for 18 from the field with one free-throw made for a season high of 21 points while also contributing six rebound.
Lending 15 points to the Owls effort, Rokila Wallace went 5-16 from the field and 5-7 from the free-throw line. The Columbus, Miss. native also recorded five rebounds, three assists, and three steal.
Junior center Keyahna Jones tied a Pilot starter for a game high of 12 rebounds to aid her team in Saturday's victory.
After a string of missed shots, the Owls found themselves behind the Pilots 12-2 in the first quarter. The tide began to change after Bailey split a pair of free throws sparking the Owls momentum. With the spurt of energy, The W was able to close the gap to 12-9 after a Bailey put back, a layup by Wallace, and a pair of free throw by Brandy Harris. The Owls closed the quarter behind LSU-Shreveport 14-9.
In the second quarter, the Owls pulled their first lead of the game, outscoring the Pilots 19-12 and entering halftime ahead 28-26.
Returning from halftime, both teams had 18 and 12 point quarters. The Owls lost the third quarter to LSU-Shreveport but pulled ahead in the fourth quarter to take the game.
As a team, the Owls shot 35.8 percent (24-67) from the field, 14.3 percent (1-7) in 3-point range, and 56.3 percent (9-16) from the free-throw line. The Pilots shot 39.0 percent (23-59) from the field, 28.6 percent (6-21) in 3-point range, and 40.0 (4-10) percent at the free-throw line.
"We did not play our best game today but we found a way to win," said head coach Howard White. "We missed 22 layups which is one of the reasons the score was so close. We did do a better job of taking care of the ball and rebounding. Sometimes you have to win an ugly game because you are not going to play well in every game. Overall, we did a great job of making plays when we really needed to. Today we learned as a team that we can win when we are not playing our best and to beat the NAIA number 18th ranked team in the nation, was big."
The Owls will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 25 when they host Wesleyan College. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.