GOODWELL, Okla. – The final home game for the Oklahoma Panhandle State University women’s basketball seniors – Naomi Rodriguez, Samantha Davis and Laura Moya Demures – proved to be an eventful one, as the team secured a spot in the Sooner Athletic Conference post-season tournament by virtue of its 70-54 win over Central Christian College. The Aggies (5-7, 5-7 SAC) will be making their second trip to the SAC tourney in the past three seasons with Victor Esparza at the team’s helm.
“I am so proud of how hard our entire team played this evening, Esparza said. “I’m especially proud of our three seniors who have given so much to this program. Tonight we secured a spot in the conference tournament and are looking forward to our matchup on Tuesday.”
The outcome was never much in doubt as OPSU took the lead for good with 6:46 left in the first quarter on a Rodriguez three-ball, 6-3. Panhandle led 15-9 after the first stanza and held a 30-18 cushion at the half. Both teams scored 36 points in the second half.
The biggest factor in the win may well have been the OPSU defense, which forced the Tigers into 22 turnovers. Panhandle had 11 steals – led by Moya Demures’ three thefts – and converted the CCC miscues into 20 points.
OPSU guard Tateum Jones flirted with a triple-double in the game. Jones scored 11 points, hauled in 12 rebounds and dished off for eight assists.
Cassia McCaskill topped the OPSU scoring with 16 points. McCaskill converted 7-of-8 free throws, while also grabbing four rebounds and making a pair of steals.
Rodriguez finished the night with 14 points, including four treys, rounding out the team’s trio of double-figure scorers.
The guard tandem of Myra McCaskill and Jo Quintero added eight and seen points, respectively. Davis and Morgan Williamson each tallied five points, while four from Moya Demures accounted for the OPSU point total.