From OCU Sports Info.
Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Oklahoma City University ousted Great Falls (Mont.) 88-52 on Saturday in the NAIA Division I women’s basketball tournament quarterfinals at the Independence Events Center.
Rateska Brown and Yvonte Neal carried the Stars with 22 points each. Second-ranked Oklahoma City (28-2) advanced to the NAIA Tournament semifinals for the 13th time and fifth time in seven years.
No. 25 Great Falls (24-10) ended its first NAIA Tournament run. Defending national champion OCU faces either sixth-ranked Oklahoma Baptist or 16th-ranked Westmont (Calif.) at 6 p.m. Monday in the Fab Four.
Neal, a senior from Spring Valley, Calif., grabbed a season-best 11 rebounds to go with six assists and two steals to post her first double-double of the season. Brown, a senior from Alvin, S.C., chipped in four 3-pointers, two assists and two steals.
OCU’s Ouleymatou Coulibaly, a senior from Bamako, Mali, West Africa, contributed 16 points and five rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. Janay Borum, a senior from Upper Marlboro, Md., padded her NAIA-best assist total with eight to go with her eight points and four steals for the Stars.
Albany Anderson, a sophomore from Norman, Okla., chipped in six points and four rebounds, while Catherine Kruschke, a junior from Dublin, Calif., pitched in six points, three rebounds and two blocked shots for Oklahoma City.
OCU coach Latricia Trammell credited Anderson for sparking the Stars in rallying from an early deficit.
“Albany Anderson got us on our run,” Trammell said. “She does things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. When she started being aggressive, it sent energy throughout our team.”
Mary Wilmore scored to give Great Falls a 16-13 edge with 6:30 remaining in the first half. OCU reeled off a 10-0 run to erase the Great Falls lead.
Anderson collected a putback, then a steal and transition bucket to put the Stars in front 16-15 with 5:59 left in the game. Coulibaly had a basket, then Brown hit a jumper to cap the run. OCU led 23-16 with 4:21 to go.
OCU tacked on a 7-0 surge to build a 30-18 advantage at the 2:38 mark of the first. Brown downed a trey, then Neal sank a set of free throws to give the Stars a 12-point margin.
The Stars shot 54.3 percent from the field to cruise in the second half. OCU stretched its advantage to a game-high 38 points on Marisha Wallace’s free throw with 1:03 left.