Doug Self, Sports Information Director
SHAWNEE – The No. 13-ranked SWOSU Women’s Basketball team got off to a slow start on the road in Shawnee against Oklahoma Baptist, but weathered the storm and went on to beat the Lady Bison 91-78. Junior point guard Hayden Priddy notched her 1,000th career point in the second quarter and helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to their 11th consecutive conference win this season.
It was the first five on the floor for SWOSU who again led the way for the Lady Dawgs, accounting for 77 of the 91 points scored on the afternoon. At the beginning of the game however the starting five struggled, tallying five turnovers and compiling missed shots.
Out of the gate to start the game, shots weren’t falling for the high potent Lady Bulldog offense. SWOSU fell behind by as many as 12 in the first quarter after shooting just 27.8% from the floor and failing to knock down a three-point shot.
The Lady Bulldogs came on stronger in the second quarter and grabbed their first lead of the game just before halftime following a layup from Bethany Franks, but OBU quickly answered and regained their lead back. Heading into the locker rooms, SWOSU had the game back within one point at 34-33 and was in a solid position headed to the second half considering the start they had in the first quarter.
That third quarter proved to be a difference maker, with SWOSU outscoring OBU 31-23 on the hot hand shooting of Taylor Hedrick and Hayden Priddy. The pair combined for 20 in the quarter and a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, which allowed the Lady Bulldogs to gain a seven-point advantage headed to the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter, SWOSU continued to poor on the pressure with made shots and free throws. The Lady Bulldogs pushed their margin to double digits seven times in the opening minutes, forcing an answer from the Lady Bison to keep them in the game each time. With a little more than three minutes to play, the Dawgs finally put the game away and pushed their margin to 17 points following another scoring run and providing them with breathing room the rest of the way.
Priddy was the high scorer for the squad, finishing with 20 points on the afternoon and seven assists for the third straight game. Franks had 17 points on an efficient 8-of-11 from the field while Hailey Tucker notched her sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Hedrick added 14 points with 12 of those coming in the second half and Tyra Aska just barely got into double figures with 10 points and a season high eight assists. Off of the bench, both Alexa Harvey and Penina Faumui added six points apiece to give SWOSU a lift.
As a team, SWOSU shot 50.8% from the field on 33-of-65 total attempts overall and 10-of-19 (52.6%) from deep despite starting the game 0-for-4. Defensively, Oklahoma Baptist was held to under 40% shooting as a team and just an even 30% from beyond the arc. The Lady Bulldogs also overcame a minus seven margin in the turnover category.
Hayden Priddy becomes the 12th player in SWOSU Women’s Basketball history to achieve the 1,000-point scoring milestone, joining teammate Hailey Tucker who also has achieved the milestone.
“It’s pretty cool because in high school I never got to 1,000 points, so to do it at the next level is just an awesome accomplishment.” Priddy said on her on-air interview with Mike Hammett at halftime of the men’s game.
SWOSU (16-1, 11-0 GAC) will be on the road next week in Arkansas when they take on Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist on the usual Thursday and Saturday slate.