Only four players scored in double figures, but all 12 recorded points as Southwestern blew out Arkansas-Monticello, 118-88, in their Great American Conference opener.SWOSU Bulldogs

The final tally for the Lady Dawgs was the most for the program since entering Division II.  The previous best was achieved in a 109-83 win at Oklahoma Panhandle State on Dec. 10, 2011.

Southwestern coach Kelsi Musick said her team can take advantage of an opportunity like what it was afforded in Monticello.

“Obviously we play a very high-paced, high octane type offense and they allowed us to get to the basket,” Musick said.  “Our guard would bring it down the court and she didn’t even have to pass the ball, she just went to the rim.  They weren’t even really helping.”

SWOSU shot 63 percent from the field, but put in 68.6 percent from the field in the first half, taking a commanding 60-40 lead at the break.

“I felt like they were trying to take away the three-point shot because we shoot so many.  They were allowing us to shoot a lot of layups.

“And that was something we had been focusing on in practice lately and I felt that our team really responded to the way they were defending us and that we were able to really run our offense at that rate and the way it’s really meant to be run, as far as really attacking the basket and getting to the rim.”

Michelle Fisher was tightly covered, but still put in 21 points, shooting 7 of 10 from the field and 3 of 4 from behind the arc.  She made all four free throw attempts as well.

Musick said that her team executed well, but that defense gave the Lady Dawgs openings.

“My girls really took advantage of that and the speed at which we play,” Musick said.  “Both teams had more than 70 attempts in the game.  That’s quite a few and that’s going to result in points.

“We give up more points than I would like, but at the same time, everyone is getting more shots against us because of the style of play that we have and the amount of times we get up and down the floor.”

And the amount of points that Southwestern will give up this season may seem higher what some other teams would feel comfortable with.

“I expect us to give up more,” Musick said.  “Most teams want to hold teams to 50 or 60 points.  If we’re averaging 90, and everyone notches close to 70 shots a game, they’re going to have a chance to score more points.”

But she thinks the number from Thursday night may be a bit much.

“Now 88? That’s too many for me.  But at the same time I think we can hold teams to 65 or 70 and still get our 90.”

That’s not just a made-up number, either.  Through their first five games, the Lady Dawgs are averaging 89.8 ppg.  And this comes without factoring in the 121 points they put up against St. Gregory’s in an exhibition game.

Kylie Boggess led the team in rebounds with eight, to go with her 13 points.  Seniors Sarah Mendoza and Taryn Sayama had 19 and 15, respectively.

Musick said she was happy with the win and with the experience her players gained.

“It’s a great feeling, especially on the road,” Musick said.  “I have a lot of players that are not new faces on our roster, but they’re new to the court, as far as the minutes they’re playing and the things we expect of them.  So this is a great win.

“We played some really great teams in our non-conference schedule so far and we have a few more.  So this is a good thing.  To be on the bus for that long and to pick up that first conference win, it’s a good feeling and it’s good for these girls to help us stay focused on our goals.”

Southwestern stays in the Natural State and will take on Southern Arkansas Unviersity on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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