A fast, 7-0 start set the tone for the entire afternoon as Oklahoma Baptist defeated Northwestern Oklahoma State 68-52 on Saturday in Great American Conference action.
The green and gold got a standout game from Kalifa Ford, who tallied a game-high 23 points with 10 rebounds. Wing player Mallory Lockhart hit some timely threes and ended up with 12 points while Jaylin Stapleton recorded nine points and a game-high eight assists.
Defensively, the Bison were outstanding. Northwestern came into the game on a seven-game winning streak, including a win over current first-place team and No. 14-ranked SWOSU. The Rangers had made at least 44% from the field in that streak.
However, on Saturday, Northwestern went cold. The OBU defense held the visitors to 27.8% shooting. That was the third-lowest total given up to a D2 team since OBU fully joined NCAA D2 in 2017-18.
In the first, the Bison got off to a strong start hitting seven of 17 shots while knocking down all six free throws. Ford was the key as she made two shots and went 4-for-4 at the foul line.
With those marks, OBU had leads of 7-0 and 19-11. But after giving their starters a breather, the Rangers started a comeback. A 7-0 spurt by the visitors ended with two Bailey Brown free throws with 32 seconds left. That brought the tally to 19-18.
Second-quarter action was tight. The Rangers got down one, 24-23, after a Scout Frame jumper at 8:35. However, OBU's next two possessions brought makes from Ford and Lockhart. Up 28-23, the Bison stayed in front the rest of the quarter and led 34-30 at half.
After the break, the Bison and Rangers traded points for the first five-plus minutes of the third until Lockhart opened things up. OBU's 3-point specialist bombed back-to-back treys moving a 38-35 tally to 44-35 with 3:20 remaining. By quarter's end, the Rangers pulled to within six, 47-41, following another jumper from Frame.
The final period turned out to be all Bison. Northwestern hit just 3-of-14 (21.4%), while the Bison started the period with a game-clinching 11-2 run. The last of those points were three-balls from Stapleton and Lockhart, moving the score to 58-43. Freshman Sierra Copeland then provided the biggest margin, 67-50, when she converted an and-one with 3:17 left.
Next on the schedule for OBU is a road date at Southern Arkansas on Thursday.
This article originally appeared on The Shawnee News-Star: Oklahoma Baptist women rout NWOSU, 68-52