With the regular season winding down, Elizabeth Lay and MaRiah and SaRaya Oyler knew they were playing in their final game at Rankin Williams Fieldhouse on Thursday night and the Southwestern Oklahoma State University seniors did not disappoint.
Lay scored a team-high 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds, all in 18 minutes of action, while MaRiah scored 12 points and SaRaya 11 to lead SWOSU past Northwestern Oklahoma State 80-66. Kimmi Sawatzky chipped in 13 points off the bench and Michelle Fisher added 12 for the Lady Dawgs, who close the regular season 21-5 and 16-4 in the Great American Conference.
After trading buckets in the early going, SWOSU really took control of the game in the middle of the first half thanks to some timely baskets from SaRaya Oyler and Sawatzky. The two players combined for 17 first-half points and gave SWOSU a 37-25 lead at the break.
SWOSU cruised for most of the second half, with the lead never creeping into single digits and growing as high as 21 twice, the final one at 61-40 on a 3-pointer from Fisher with to play. The Lady Dawgs connected on 45.6 percent (26-57) field goal attempts and 37.9 percent (11-29) of their shots from downtown. They also reached the 80-point plateau for the 13th time in 20 conference games this season.
NWOSU (6-18, 5-14 GAC) was led by 16 points from Dierra Gilmore and 10 from Renee Golliday.
The win locks SWOSU in as the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Great American Conference tournament in Bartlesville, Okla. Arkansas Tech clinched the No. 1 seed on Thursday evening with a 69-67 win over Harding.
The Golden Suns are 16-3 in conference play with one game remaining, but they swept SWOSU, giving them the top seed for the tournament.