Oklahoma City University survived its second-round NAIA Division I women's basketball tournament matchup with Shawnee State (Ohio) 56-54 on Friday at the Frankfort Convention Center.
Schera Sampson of Shawnee State missed a 10-foot jumper as time expired as the Stars held off the 18th-ranked Bears. Second-ranked OCU (28-3) takes on seventh-ranked Lee (Tenn.) at 1 p.m. CST Saturday in the tournament quarterfinals.
OCU had its largest lead of the game 29-10 after Katie Hall scored off a Desiree Jeffries feed with 1:07 left in the first half. The Stars had reeled off a 20-1 run.
"We played a very good game the first half on both ends of the floor," OCU coach Latricia Trammell said. "We held a very good team to 13 points at the half, and we came out in the second half wanting to win, but lacking intensity and energy. We took our lead for granted, and this should get us back focused and ready to go."
Lauren Gober, a senior from Newcastle, Okla., finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and two steals while nailing three treys. Desiree Jeffries, a senior from Oklahoma City, chipped in 10 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Stars.
Gober hit two 3-pointers and a jumper as the Stars broke a 9-9 tie with a 10-0 uprising. Jessica Lankston sank a reverse layup off an inbound pass to put OCU in front 23-10 with 6:23 left in the first half.
Shawnee State shot 25 percent from the field in the first half, hitting 5 of 20 shots. Shawnee State hit 11 of 16 second-half free throws after going 3-for-6 from the line in the first half.
Lankston sank a 3 for a 43-30 OCU advantage at the 11:28 mark of the second. Shawnee State answered with a 9-2 splurge as Alannah Sheets had a trey and three free throws. Jeffries responded with a 3-point play for a 48-39 Stars lead with 7:06 to go.
Autumn Huffman downed OCU's last field goal of the game on a transition layup for a 53-44 margin with 4:25 remaining. Huffman nailed free throws to push the Stars' lead to 55-44 with 3:58 left.
Sheets scored five points as Shawnee State put together a 10-0 run. Schera Sampson's lay-in cut the Stars' edge to 55-54 with 1:48 showing.
Shawnee State's Desirai Smith missed a running layup attempt with seven seconds left that Kayla MacKenzie rebounded for OCU, then drew a foul. MacKenzie sank the first, but rimmed out the second free throw to leave Shawnee State 6.2 seconds and one more attempt at a tying or winning shot.