Wednesday, March 7, 2001
Women's basketball season ends at Mid-Con finals
The second-seeded Oral Roberts women’s basketball team may have lost out on a chance to win the conference regular-season title, but the Golden Eagles peaked at the right time.
Oral Roberts defeated top seed Oakland, 61-46, to win the 2001 Mid-Continent Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament Tuesday, March 6.
The Golden Eagles, who won their second Mid-Con Tournament in three years, improved their season record to 20-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Oakland closed the year at 20-10.
Oakland jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game, forcing the Golden Eagles to call a quick timeout. However, Oral Roberts went on a 10-2 run, capped by a jumper by junior Krista Ragan (Indianola, Okla.) after the timeout to tie the game at 10-10 with 12:05 left in the first half.
Oakland sophomore Katie Wolfe (Cedar Springs, Mich.) put Oakland ahead with a jumper of her own a minute later, but that was the last time the Golden Grizzlies would lead. Junior Kristin Brady (Broken Arrow, Okla.) responded with a three-pointer that started a 9-0 run that put Oral Roberts ahead for good. Oakland closed the gap to three points late in the first half, but Oral Roberts took a 28-23 advantage into the locker room at the break.
Oral Roberts effectively put the game away with a half-opening 8-0 run that built the Golden Eagles’ lead to 36-23. Senior Christina Kelley (Milan, Ill.) scored nine points in the first 10 minutes of the second stanza, helping Oral Roberts to a 16-point lead. Oakland got no closer than seven points the rest of the way. With Oakland fouling out of desperation late in the game, Oral Roberts made 6-of-8 free throws in the last 1:26 of the game to ice the win.
Kelley scored 11 of her team-best 13 points in the second half, hitting 5-of-6 shots from the floor. Ragan, who earned Mid-Con Tournament MVP honors for the second time in three seasons, had 12 points and four assists while playing 38 minutes. Senior Dana Whittaker (Raytown, Mo.) had her first double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Shayne McKenzie (Haskell, Texas), who had scored a career-high 18 points against Youngstown State in the Mid-Con quarterfinals, added 10 off the bench.
Oakland’s Beth Zeone (Dunlap, Ill.) scored a game-high 17 points, while junior Sarah Judd (Eastpointe, Mich.) had 10 points (all in the second half) and 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the Mid-Con Tournament. Wolfe had 13 points in the game.
Ragan was joined on the all-tourney team by teammate McKenzie, Oakland’s Judd and Zeone, and IUPUI senior Angie Watt (Princeton, Ind.)