No. 6 Express Women Use Wright's 15 Points To Breeze Past Cuyahoga 87-51 In OCCAC OpenerJanuary 16, 2014
Paige Wright attempts a free throw in the first half of today's 87-51 Express win over Cuyahoga. The sophomore had a team-high 15 points. Photo by Rudy Yovich/Owens Sports Information
By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Paige Wright (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.) led five players in double figure scoring as the No. 6 Express women's basketball team defeated Cuyahoga Community College 87-51 in their conference opener tonight.
The Express, who were playing their first game since Dec. 30, built a 35-21 lead at halftime despite a slugglish first half. After Cuyahoga's Tamara Smith hit a jumper to pull her team within 11-8 with 11:09 left in the half, the Express went on an 8-0 run that featured five points from Wright over the next two minutes.
Cuyahoga's Dereika Mahone would hit a lay-up with 3:29 left in the half to pull her team within 27-20, but the Express closed the half on an 8-1 run - despite neither team scoring in the final minute of the half.
In the first frame, the Express shot just 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) from 3-point range and 9-for-16 (56.2 percent) from the foul line. The rebounding battle remained close, while the biggest first half difference was a 16-7 turnover margin favoring the Express. Mahone had eight turnovers alone in the first half for Cuyahoga.
The second half saw a much different home team. The Express stretched their 14-point lead to 22 in less than three minutes. Kheri Motley (West Bloomfield/West Bloomfield, Mich.) had five points, while Wright added a 3-pointer during the 10-2 run to open the half.
The Express really broke the game open with just over seven minutes remaining. Mahone made a jumper to pull her team within 62-41 with 7:18 remaining, but the Express went on a 23-3 run over the next five plus minutes to take their largest lead, 85-44 with 1:45 left.
Cuyahoga outscored the Express 7-2 in those last minutes.
In the second half, the Express vastly improved their offensive numbers. They finished 19-for-40 (47.5 percent) overall from the field in the half, inclduing a 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) mark from 3-point range. They also finished 10-for-14 (71.4 percent) from the foul line in the second frame, while outscoring Cuyahoga 52-30.
Wright led a balanced team scoring effort with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal. All eight of her field goal attempts (3-for-8) came from 3-point range and she finished 6-for-8 from the foul line.
Kamilah Carter (Pioneer/Ann Arbor, Mich.) added 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Ashley Tunstall(Wayne/Huber Heights, Ohio) had 10 points and team-highs in rebounds (11) and steals (5), along with two assists.
Motley and Zhana Randolph (Rochester/Rochester Hills, Mich.) each finished with 12 points off the bench. Randolph added four rebounds, four steals and two assists, while Motley had six rebounds, two steals, a team-high two blocks and one assist. Motley finished a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and went 4-for-5 from the foul line.
LaKayra Carlisle (Pershing/Detroit, Mich.) led the bench players with eight rebounds, while adding three assists and two points.
Overall, the Express out-rebounded Cuyahoga 55-40 with fewer turnovers (15-29), more points off turnovers (35-9) and more second chance points (16-7). The Express bench outscored Cuyahoga's one-person bench 32-3.
Mahone led all scorers with 22 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists, while her teammates Smith and Nnena Adigwe each added 10 rebounds.
The Express (15-1, 1-0 OCCAC), who have now won 15 straight games, will host No. 16 Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (11-6, 2-0 OCCAC) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the SHAC.
Randolph produced her first collegiate double figure scoring game today while also totaling single-game season-highs in minutes (20), field goals made (6) and field goals attempted (15). Her previous scoring high was nine in the season-opener against Kirkwood.
Motley also produced a personal season-high in scoring today, topping her 11 point totals from Dec. 7 against Kirtland Community College and Nov. 29 against Lourdes University JV. It was her fourth double figure scoring game of the season.
Tunstall achieved her second consecutive and fifth double-double of the season today. She also has double figure rebounding totals in each of the past three games.
Carter continued her streak of scoring in double figures in each game this season. She is the team's leading scorer.
Hannah Griffin (Edgerton/Edgerton, Ohio) missed a free throw for the first time in her collegiate career today. The freshman was 12-for-12 coming into the game and she finished 3-for-4 after missing her first attempt of the day.
The 15-game winning streak is the third longest in program history for the Express, behind the 1996-97 team's 17 game win streak and the 2009-10 team's 18 game win streak. Their 15-1 mark is the best 16 game start in program history.