The ORU women’s basketball team was in control from the start as the Golden Eagles blew past USAO 67-35 in Tuesday’s matinee at the Mabee Center.
Sophomore Jordan Gilbert got the Golden Eagles off to a fast start to open the game, knocking down her first two shots and setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Senior guard Kaylan Mayberry continued ORU’s offensive success in the second and third quarter, scoring a game-high 18 points and knocking down two three pointers. Forward Faith Ihim finished with her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 boards.
“Very happy offensively with our first half, liked all the shots we were taking. I like the shots that we get, we’re just not knocking them down consistently as a group. We usually have one or two carrying us, but we have to start doing that consistently five to six deep,” said ORU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Misti Cussen. “We started today with USAO, then UALR two nights from now and then finish the week in Norman to play OU on Sunday. It was also the last time the girls have class before finals on Saturday so there’s a lot of time management that has to take place right now.”
The Golden Eagles were just strong on the defensive end of the court as the team held USAO to just 21 percent shooting for the game. The Drovers made only three shots in each of the first three quarters.
“Earlier on in the season after we played Iowa and Northwestern, we switched up the defense a little bit and I think that helped us a lot with how we should all guard the ball as one,” said Ihim. “It will help us with bigger teams that we play.”
Balla is Back.
Senior forward Dorka Balla saw her first action of the season Tuesday afternoon. Balla, who was recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, played nine minutes and was credited with a steal, rebound and two assists.
Redshirt junior guard Lakota Beatty missed her first game of the season Tuesday for an undisclosed reason. Beatty sitting out Tuesday’s game is not believed to be linked to an injury. Cussen declined to comment on the reason to sit her second-leading scorer.
Golden Eagle injury update:
Junior guard Jordan Doyle (knee) and freshman forward Maria Marti (hip) have yet to play this season due to injury. Cussen is still hopeful to have both players back for the team’s first conference game on December 31 against IPFW, but has not ruled out the possibility of having Doyle and Marti use their medical redshirts this season.
Who’s Hot/Who’s Not
Hot: Junior forward Faith Ihim is averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds in her last four games including a monster 18 point and 18 rebounds performance against Kansas last Saturday.
Not: Sophomore guard Ashley Beatty has really struggled to find her shot in the early part of this season. Beatty is shooting just 12 percent from the field and a woeful 6 percent from three-point range.
The next game for the ORU women’s basketball team will be this Thursday against UALR as the Golden Eagles start a two-game road trip. The team will then take on No. 12 Oklahoma in Norman on Sunday.