OU women learning to finish games strong

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa University women’s basketball team is finding ways to finish games.

The Lady Braves used a big fourth quarter to erase a double-digit deficit to defeat Kansas Wesleyan, 67-61, Saturday in Wilson Field House.

“These kids never stop fighting,” Ottawa coach Tarnieha Scott said. “It is a joy to coach them. I change things around and have them do different things and they never stop fighting. I love to coach that.’

Ottawa was down 45-32 with two minutes left in the third quarter when the tide turned. Ottawa used a 9-2 run to close third to crawl within 47-41 and opened the fourth on another 9-2 spurt to take a 50-49 lead.

“We did a great job defensively,” Scott said. “We rebounded the ball extremely well. We did not shoot it as well as I would have liked. We did other things and that led to a victory.”

Ottawa’s defense forced key turnovers, which led to easy baskets in the final 12 minutes of the game.

“We played 40 minutes of basketball,” Scott said. “There are some ups and some downs, but you have to stay the course. We have to be consistent. If you play defense, you always give yourself a chance. We are expecting to win. That is a difference. You are playing not to lose, but to win. That is huge.”

Kanecia Payne came off the bench to finish with a double-double. She had 20 points and 14 rebounds. 10 of those rebounds were offensive.

Haylie Anderson finished with 19 points and Amyr Lowe scored 10 points. Lowe also had five assists and three steals.

Ottawa (6-8, 6-6), winners of three straight games, plays 3 p.m.  Saturday at home Oklahoma Wesleyan.