Jones' Double-Double Leads Owls Past Paul Quinn to the Championship

Keyahna Jones, junior center; Photo Credit: Chris Jenkins, University Relations
Keyahna Jones, junior center; Photo Credit: Chris Jenkins, University Relations

UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Keyahna Jones pulled off her 10th double-double of the season to lead the Owls in a 73-59 victory over Paul Quinn College in the semifinal round of the USCAA Women's Basketball Division I Championship Tournament.

The junior center from Lufkin, Texas went 7-for-9 from the floor and 2-for-2 at the free throw line to tally 16 points against the Tigers defense. Under the basket, she pulled down four offensive boards and seven defensive boards to tie fellow Owl Autumn Taylor for a game-high of 11 rebounds.

With 11 points of her own, Taylor joined Qiayon Bailey who scored 13 points to round out the double-digit effort.

The Owls struggled early on with a sluggish offense, committing several miscues to open the game allowing Paul Quinn to sneak ahead 4-0. A minute and a half after tip-off, Jones pulled down a rebound and hit a putback basket to score the Owls first points of the game.  Paul Quinn went on an 8-2 run before Taylor split free-throws after a shooting foul to cut the Tigers lead to 12-5.

The Owls had a surge of energy offensively to go on a 6-0 run to close out the quarter and enter the second period trailing Paul Quinn 12-11.

The W found its first lead of the game shortly after the start of the quarter. Meosha Barnum sunk a 2-point jumper which was followed by another 2-point jumper from Katlyn Duke.

Paul Quinn scored several consecutive baskets to tie the Owls at 21-21 with 4:39 left in the half. For the remainder of the quarter, the two teams exchanged baskets to result in a 30-30 tie entering halftime.

The start of the third period was much of the same. The Tigers and the Owls traded basket for the first minutes for a string of ties as both teams played well offensively but could not defensively stop the others process.

With 2:58 left in the period, the Owls outscored Paul Quinn 9-4 to enter the fourth ahead of the Tigers 55-48.

Duke scored the first basket of the fourth to extend the Owls lead to 57-48. The W continued to score pushing to a 15-point lead with 5:55 left in the game.

The Tigers started to chip away at the Owls lead and trailed by eight with under four minutes left to play.

The W snapped back with several baskets at the line to close the game 73-59.

"The Owls played well together today," said head coach Howard White. "We were able to come together as a team and overcome Paul Quinn's first-quarter run. We did a great job rebounding the basketball and handling their pressure defense. We also did a great job defensively making them take tough shots. Offensively we were able to get the shots we wanted. Overall, we played a smart game."

The W will face the University of Maine - Fort Kent for the USCAA Women's Basketball Division I Championship on Saturday, March 9. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT.