COLUMBUS, Miss. – Autumn Taylor had a career-making night, raining down 36 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Owl women's basketball team in its effort against Blue Mountain College Thursday night. My'Neka Frazier also had a great night with 11 points and 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Despite the great showing by two of the Owls senior players, it was not enough to defeat the Toppers. The W fell 80-60 inside of Emma 'Ody' Pohl Gymnasium.
The W (3-10) went 21-39 (53.8 percent) from the floor while Blue Mountain put up more shots, 30-for-73, for a 41.1 percent field goal percentage. The Toppers found success from beyond the arc, making 13 of 34 (38.2 percent) in three-point range. The Owls made more appearances at the line to make 17-of-25 (68.30 percent) while BMC made seven of its 10 for a 70 percent free-throw percentage.
The teams were equal in their rebound efforts with each team bringing down 33 boards. The Owls struggled with ball handling suffering 28 turnovers while forcing only 15 from Blue Mountain. BMC outscored The W in points off turnover 40-11 and second-chance points 10-6. The W fully covered the paint to outscore the Toppers 36-16.
Taylor caught fire early on to score the first six points for the Owls. The senior guard was 2-for-2 at the line after being fouled seconds after tipoff and landed two layups. Blue Mountain sprinkled in seven points to have a 7-6 advantage with just under five minutes left in the first period. Freshman guard Jasmine Shaw scored a layup at the 4:36 mark to put the Owls back on top 8-7 but a 15-4 Blue Mountain run put The W behind 22-12 going into the new quarter.
Emilee Murr for the Toppers opened up the scoring effort in the second quarter with a two-point jumper 28 seconds in. Less than a minute later, the relentless Taylor for the Owls added two to the board for the Owls. She followed with a layup and a quick two-pointer by fellow Owl Christianna Harris put the Owls within six of the Blue Mountain lead, 24-18, with 6:34 left in the half. The two teams exchange scoring but the Toppers caught heat in three-point range to extend their lead to 35-25. BMC continued to be efficient below and above to arc to go into halftime with a score of 42-28 over The W.
The third period began with the two teams taking turns making shots. With the Toppers still hot above the arc, the Owls struggled to make up ground. Blue Mountain scored 24 points in the third quarter while holding The W to 13 for a 66-41 going into the final quarter.
After being foul shortly after the throw-in, Taylor split her free throw shots at the line. Madison Wax for BMC followed 10 seconds later with a layup for a 68-42 score. The Owls and the Toppers paced each other scoring seven points each with BMC having a 75-49 advantage. Taylor split another pair of free-throws and Karmen Payne added two for the Toppers. Carrissa Horton hit back-to-back layups to score the last four points for Blue Mountain extended the lead to 80-50 with 4:02 left in the game.
Despite being down 30 points, the Owls continued to fight. Taylor hit a three-pointer at the 2:30 mark and 30 seconds later, newcomer Kate Beth Williams sank a two-point jumper. Taylor picked up a point at the line and with 30 seconds left. Frazier made a layup, grabbed a steal, and hit another layup to close the game.
The W women's basketball team will get a long break for the holiday season before returning to court on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they travel to LSU –Shreveport. Tipoff is set for 2 PM CT.