Pomeroys lose nail biter to Oakland City

Jan. 23, 2014

Clinton, Ind. – In a game that came down to the wire in the final moments, Oakland City University was able to sneak out of the Clinton Recreation Center with a slim four point victory over the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College basketball team on Thursday night.  The Mighty Oaks capitalized on their chances late with a 102-98 victory over the host Pomeroys.   

In the first half which saw seven lead changes, the Pomeroys and Mighty Oaks would keep things close throughout.  The Pomeroys opened up the half with three 3-point baskets:  two by Hailee Rittinger and one by Madeline Pea to give the Pomeroys an early 9-8 lead.  Midway through the half, a three-point basket by Mikayla Kinneer gave SMWC its largest lead of the half with a nine point advantage (28-19).  However, the Mighty Oaks would go on a huge scoring run of their own and led by as many as 15 points late in the half.  Ja’Breena Gardner would score the last basket of the half, cutting the lead down to 12 points at intermission (61-49).

The Pomeroys would respond in the second half, erasing the halftime deficit and taking a six point lead with the score at 76-70 after another three-point basket by Rittinger.  As the half wore on, neither team was able to stretch the lead into double digits as the score remained close during the final 10 minutes of the game. 

With under a minute to play, a three-point play by Na-Shaunda Rayford tied the game at 98.  After a Pomeroy defensive stop, a costly turnover by Gardner gave the ball back to Oakland City with approximately 30 seconds to play.  On the next possession, Oakland City’s Chelsea Jones would convert a critical jump shot with six seconds left to give the Mighty Oaks a two point lead.   A defensive foul by Oakland City’s Brandi Richardson on the next play sent Gardner to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity to potentially tie the game.  Gardner would miss the front end on the one-and-one and the Pomeroys were forced to foul after Oakland City was able to corral the rebound.  Hope Marigny would hit both free throws for the Mighty Oaks and it sealed the victory for the visitors.       

The Pomeroys had six players in double figures and was led by Rayford who had a team-high 18 points.  Sierra Lopez secured her third straight double-double scoring 11 points and recording a game-high 12 rebounds.  Gardner and Rittinger were both one rebound away from a double-double as both players had 9 rebounds and 15 points on the night.  Rittinger was hot from behind the arc, hitting 5-of-7 from three-point land.  Chelsea Weaver (15 pts.) and Pea (10 pts.) also scored in double figures for SMWC. 

Oakland City was led by Lyndi Tedder who scored a game-high 30 points.  Three other players scored in double figures for the Mighty Oaks.  Jones ended with 19 points, Richardson had 16, and Brooke Jackson finished with 14. 

For the game, both teams shared similar statistics.  Oakland City shot 48% (41-of-85) from the field, 42% (12-of-28) from three-point range, and 72% (8-of-11) from the foul line.  SMWC shot 44% (38-of-86) from the field, 37% (13-of-35) from three-point range, and 69% (9-of-13) from the charity stripe.  The Pomeroys were also able to win battle of the boards (54-39).

With the loss, the Pomeroys are now 6-11 on the season.  The Mighty Oaks improve to 8-9.  Both teams will meet once more this season when the Pomeroys travel to Oakland City on Feb. 11.  The Pomeroys will look to get back in the win column with their next game in two days.  The Pomeroys will host IU-Northwest in their second of back-to-back home games on Saturday, Jan. 25.  Game time is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.