Owls Overcame Tough Competition in 74-68 Victory Over Philander Smith

Rokila Wallace, Junior Guard; Photo Credit: Owls Communication
Rokila Wallace, Junior Guard; Photo Credit: Owls Communication
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The W women's basketball team faced tough competition against Philander Smith College on Thursday, Dec. 13. The Owls put up their best offensive effort and communicated well defensively to outlast the Panthers 74-68 and improve to 10-2 on the season.
With a game-high of 21 points, junior guard Rokila Wallace led the Owls going 6-for-11 from the field and 9-for-13 at the free-throw line. The Columbus native also tallied three rebounds, two assists, and three steals in the effort. 
Collecting her third double-double of the season, Keyahna Jones collected a game-high of 12 rebounds with 13 points and rounding out double-digit scoring, Tenazhia Hinkson went 5-for-12 from the field, 2-for-5 beyond the arc, and 4-for-6 at the free-throw line for 16 points. She also grabbed seven boards and two assists during Thursday's game. 
As a team, the Owls shot 46.8 percent from the field, 22.2 percent in 3-point range, and 59.6 percent at the free-throw line. The W held the Panthers to 30.5 percent from the floor, 26.5 percent in 3-point range, and 52.9 percent at the line. 
Philander Smith hit a lay-up 11 seconds after tip-off for the first points of the game. After turnovers from both teams, Owls junior guard Autumn Taylor was fouled after a steal to take the first free-throws of the night. Taylor hit both to tie the game. 
The Panthers answered with a 2-point layup to regain the lead but Rokila Wallace followed with a layup of her own to tie the game 4-4. 
Slowly, Philander Smith found its rhythm and pulled ahead of the Owls. The W trailed the Panthers for the rest of the quarter and PSC took the first quarter 20-18. 
Out of the gate, Philander Smith hit a 3-pointer just a few seconds into the second quarter. The Owls took control of the ball and Qiayon Bailey and Keyahna Jones hit back-to-back layups. The W grabbed its first lead of the game shortly after with Tenazhia Hinkson hitting a 3-pointer for a score of 25-23.
In the second, the Owls outscored the Panthers 20-23 to close the half ahead of PSC 41-40.
The third quarter was an all-out battle. The score tied twice and the lead changed hands four times. The W put up 14 points in the quarter and held Philander Smith to 12 to retain the lead 55-52 at the end of the quarter.
MyNeka Frazier entered the game for the Owls to begin the fourth and hit a layup 29 seconds, increasing The W leads to 57-52. 
The Owls continued their scoring effort and remained ahead of the Panthers for the rest of the game. The Owls closed the game for their 10th victory of the season 74-68.
The W women's basketball team will return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 15 when they travel to Huntingdon College. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.