From UCO Sports
Chris Brannick, Director of Sports Media Relations
BETHANY – The University of Central Oklahoma women’s basketball team is 10-0 for the first time in school history after the Bronchos beat Southern Nazarene 83-60 Friday night at the Sawyer Center.
“It’s going to be a neat thing for these girls to look back on,” UCO head coach Guy Hardaker said. “Anytime you get to say that you’re the only team in school history to do something, that’s special. I’m happy for the girls that they get to experience that.”
UCO women’s basketball began play in the 1969-70 season. The Bronchos best start was 9-0 in 1982-83. UCO had been 9-1 on four occasions. The record now belongs to the 2016-17 Bronchos.
Melinda Murillo led UCO with 20 points, Marley Anderson scored 15 and Jesheon Cooper added 14 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks to pace the Bronchos in a game Central led from the start.
UCO jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, and led 24-19 after one. The second quarter was a shining moment for the UCO defense on the young season as the Bronchos held Southern Nazarene to just six points. Central held SNU scoreless for just over five minutes in the period, and only allowed two field goals in the period. SNU hit two free-throws with :02 left in the half. UCO led 40-25 at halftime.
Cooper recorded her third-straight double-double and fourth of the season. The junior center is averaging 11.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game over the past three games. She is also averaging four blocks per game over the past three games after recording three in each of the previous two, before her six blocked shots Friday, which, ties her for third most in a single game in UCO history.
Olivia Mason had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Bronchos. Shatoya Bryson scored nine of the bench, Megan Womack scored eight off the bench and added five rebounds. Ireon Smith added four in relief effort. Blake Blessington, Hayley Bryan and Madison Lee each scored two points for the Bronchos.
UCO is off for a short Christmas break. The Bronchos host Oklahoma Christian at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29 and host Missouri Western at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31.