Bobby Martinez – Staff Writer –
Coming off a loss to College of Saint Rose, the Owls women’s basketball team (6-16, 3-16 NE-10) had a tough task ahead of them when the visiting Pace Setters defeated them 65-51 last Tuesday.
After trailing early 7-0, Moni-Smith Ocran gave the Owls their first basket fueling an 8-0 run in the beginning stages of the first half.
Throughout the first half, both teams were back and forth exchanging baskets and no team was able to pull away with a major lead.
“We came out playing good team basketball,” Beathea said.
The Owls defense was very sharp causing Pace to turn the ball over and creating fast break opportunities. Ocran dominated in the first half on both sides of the ball giving the Owls a lead 26-24 in the closing minutes of the first half.
As the half was coming to an end, the Owls play did slow down and let Pace score a layup to tie the game at 26 heading into the half.
“We needed to make quicker passes with the ball,” head coach Meghan Brown said to her team at half time. “Defensively we started getting late with closeouts.”
Beginning the second half, the Owls began to use their post players Jackie Beathea and Ocran. Beathea finished the game with another double-double grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring 16 points.
Beathea gave the Owls the first lead of the second half off a steal and a fast break, culminating in a three-point lead 30-27.
The first five minutes of the game, both Ocran and Beathea were too much for Pace down low. Every play for the first five minutes went through Beathea and Ocran hands until Pace adjusted their defense.
Pace began to play tighter defense and also shoot wide-open threes due to the Owls help defense leaving shooters open.
“We did want to pound the ball inside hoping it will leave us kick the ball out to our shooters as well,” Brown said.
Pace and their ball movement broke down the Owls defense by letting them pass to wide open shooters and also pass the ball inside for easy points. Pace began double teaming Beathea and Ocran forcing the Owls to shoot poorly.
Pace knocked down their free throws to close out the game 65-51.