Lady Trailblazers Lose a Heart-breaker in National Championship
The OCU women's basketball team was 9.8 seconds away from winning their first National Championship on Saturday. Freshman Shelby Roe drained a shot from behind the arc to put the Lady Blazers up by one point with just under 10 seconds remaining. But Kentucky Christian University's Meredith Reed was able to convert a three point play of her own in the final seconds, defeating OCU 72-70 for the NCCAA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship.
Shelby Roe led all scorers with 20 points, going 7 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Senior All-American guard Brenda Carter added 13 points, while junior forward Danielle Fleming had 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. Junior Angela Thorne and freshman All-American Dannyel Butte chipped in 11 points each. Brenda Carter and Danielle Fleming received All-Tournament Team recognition, with Fleming being named the Tournament MVP.
Head Coach Mandy Wray said, "Our girls played their hearts out, and I couldn't be more proud of them. Although this was a heart-breaking game, it was a huge step forward for our program here at OCU. To make it to the Championship game in our program's first appearance at the NCCAA National Tournament is something special. I am excited to have our core group back next year, along with the recruits we have coming in. We are going to keep working hard and will look to build from this in the years to come."
The Lady Trailblazers were ranked in the top 3 in the NCCAA National Poll all season, and finished the year with a record of 26-6, the best in the history of OCU's women's basketball program. Earlier this month, the OCU women also won the OCAC (Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference) Championship, which was the program's first conference championship, and also finished the season undefeated on their home court, with a record of 13-0.