It was a fight to the finish for the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggie women Thursday night in Wichita, Kansas as they took on the Lady Jets of Newman University. Despite an exciting overtime struggle, the Aggie's fell 70-67 to the Lady Jets who claimed their first conference win of the season.
The game started with the Lady Jets scoring first, but the two teams exchanged the lead five times over the first 20 minutes. With 8:11 left in the first half, OPSU's Da'Veonna Munson nailed a 3-pointer to put the Aggies up by five and the home team went into the break leading by nine. OPSU dominated in the first 14 minutes of the second half, leading the Lady Jets by as much as 13. Newman capitalized on four charity shots, scored two treys, and suddenly the visitors were within one point of OPSU. The Aggies pulled in front again by four, but a determined Newman team did not give up. With 25 seconds left to play, OPSU was ahead by two when a jump shot in the final seconds by Alexandra Ciabattoni tied the game 55-55 at the end of regulation.
The noise level in the gym continued to increase in the overtime period as the Lady Jets scored a quick lay-up followed by a Meagan Bell trey to give the Aggies a one-point advantage. Newman tied it up with a free throw, and then the Aggies again took the lead with a Whitley Coca free throw and another three-pointer from Bell. Newman tied it up again and went on to take advantage of the charity shots while holding off OPSU's scorers. Free throws helped give the Lady Jets the 70-67 victory as they went 8-9 at the line in the overtime period compared to the Aggies' 6-10. Newman improved their season record to 6-10 overall and 1-3 in the Heartland Conference while OPSU fell to 3-12 and 0-4.
Newman's Kianna Flannagan led all scorers with 17 and team mate Alexandra Ciabattoni earned a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. For the Aggies, Coca put in 16 points and took down six rebounds while Bell had 13 points, Munson, 11, and Rosa Quinonez, 9. Sharice Papaleo scored six points and had seven rebounds while Shayla Mathis had six rebounds.
The University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith Lady Lions (5-11, 1-3 HC) come to Goodwell Saturday for a game at 2 p.m.