Oklahoma City University upended No. 1-ranked Lubbock Christian (Texas) 79-68 on Thursday at Rip Griffin Center in a showdown of top 10-ranked teams in NAIA Division I women's basketball.
Desiree Jeffries, a senior from Oklahoma City, boosted the defending national champion Stars with team highs of 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sixth-ranked OCU improved to 11-2, 3-0 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, while Lubbock Christian suffered its first loss, moving to 16-1, 3-1.
OCU's Katie Hall, a senior from Hazelton, Idaho, came through with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Lauren Gober, a senior from Newcastle, Okla., contributed 12 points and eight rebounds, while Jessica Lankston, a senior from Kansas, Okla., produced 12 points and six rebounds along with sinking all 10 of her free-throw attempts for the Stars.
The Stars dropped in 26 out of 30 free-throw tries. OCU knocked down 24 of 26 second-half free-throw attempts.
The lead changed hands four times in the contest. Gober's trey put OCU in front for good as the Stars led 17-15 with 5:42 remaining in the first half. Lubbock Christian's Haley Burton had a layup to tie the game, but Ravven Brown's lay-in provided the Stars a 19-17 advantage with 4:32 on the clock.
Burton's 3 gave Lubbock Christian an early 7-1 edge. OCU responded with a 7-0 run as Cara Pugh gave the Stars a 10-9 advantage on a jumper with 11:28 left in the first. Lubbock Christian scored the game's next six points, but Jeffries had back-to-back transition buckets before Gober's 3 that put OCU up 17-15.
In the second half, OCU pushed its lead to double digits on an 8-0 run. Lankston's fastbreak layup finished up the surge, increasing the Stars' margin to 43-28 at the 14:05 mark.
OCU built its largest lead 63-47 with Jeffries' breakaway lay-in with 4:07 left.
Brown, a senior from Duluth, Ga., added 11 points, two assists and two steals for the Stars.
The Stars meet Wayland Baptist (Texas) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Plainview, Texas.