Following a tough overtime loss to Newman earlier in the week, the Oklahoma Panhandle State University women's basketball team (4-12, 1-4 HC) won their first conference game against the University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith (5-12, 1-4 HC) Lady Lions Saturday afternoon at home.
The Aggies finally broke their six game losing streak in a close battle with the Lady Lions, keeping fans on the edges of their seats until the final buzzer. UAFS enjoyed a slim lead throughout much of the first half, but with 3:53 left on the clock, OPSU's Meagan Bell nailed a three-point shot to put the Aggies up by one. Four good shots at the free throw line gave them a five point advantage, but the Lions battled back, cutting the Aggie lead to just one as the half ended 33-32.
In half two, it was OPSU's turn to maintain a narrow margin, at least until about the nine minute mark when the UAFS women evened the score at 49 all and went on to lead by seven with just under four minutes left in the game.
Two points from Da'Veonna Munson and two treys by Megan Taylor put the Aggies up by one, but the Lions took the lead by two with a layup and a free throw by Katie Ben Amor with just over a minute left. Sarah Johnson hit a shot from beyond the arc to put OPSU back in the lead followed by two free throws from Whitley Coca for a three point advantage. With four seconds on the clock, UAFS put the Aggie lead back to two points, but Coca again put in two shots from the charity stripe to clinch the 66-62 win.
Coca led all scorers with 18 and also brought down seven rebounds. Johnson earned 14 points and Sharice Papaleo put in nine and got eight rebounds. For UAFS, Angi Ramey earned a double double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Ben Amor scored 14.
The women take a Texas road trip next week, taking on McMurry University in Abilene on Thurs., Jan. 24 and then traveling to Austin to face St. Edward's on Saturday, Jan. 26.