By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---Emma-Jean Ricketts poured in 24 points, while Mackenzie Heacock hit several huge shots as the No. 20 Express women's basketball team defeated Edison Community College 80-70 in the SHAC tonight.
In doing so, the Express clinched a share of their second OCCAC championship in the past three years. It also marks their seventh title overall.
With 10:50 remaining in the game, Edison's Tori Purk hit a lay-up to tie the game up at 53-all. That's when Heacock hit a 3-pointer from the corner to put her team up three. Following a lay-up from Nandi Taylor, Edison's Emily Mowbray hit a 3-pointer to pull Edison back within two.
At that point, Heacock hit another 3-pointer to put her team up five with just under nine minutes left. Then, with the Express up 63-58 less than a minute later, the game saw the Express go on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 13.
The Chargers got as close as seven with just over a minute left, but Heacock hit three free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
Ricketts, in addition to her point total, added six rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Heacock finished second on the team in scoring with 19 points, while adding nine rebounds, a team-high five steals and four assists.
Karahn Scott was the third Express player in double figures as she finished with 17 points, a team-high 18 rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Those three players combined to shoot 19-for-36 from the field overall and 3-for-6 from 3-point range - led by Heacock's 3-for-4 performance from long range. Additionally, those three accounted for all but two of the team's free throw attempts as they combined to finish 19-for-29 from the charity stripe.
As a team, the Express out-rebounded Edison 45-35 overall and 17-10 on the offensive glass. Additionally, they forced 26 Edison turnovers.
The Chargers, who drained nine 3-pointers to keep the game close, were led by 18 points from Brooke Richards, who was 4-for-10 from long range. Kendra Brunswick added 16 points, a team-high seven rebounds and a team-high six assists, while Tori Purk had 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Express (22-7 overall, 9-2 OCCAC) can clinch the OCCAC championship outright with a win over Columbus State Community College on Saturday. The game will be on the road beginning at 1 p.m.
Bezeau picked up a rare technical foul as she fouled out of the game with just over 10 minutes left in the game. She finished with six points, four rebounds and three assists in her final home game.
In two games against Edison this year, Scott has totaled 40 rebounds. She broke the program's single game record with 22 the first time the two team's met.
Ricketts now has 890 career points. She passed Niccole Brown (885 points, 2003-05) for seventh place on the career scoring list. Next up is Stacey Weiland at 908 points and Elizabeth Harris at 919 points.
Heacock now has 567 career points, while Scott now has 478 career points and 459 career rebounds.
Head coach Mike Llanas is now one win away from 200 for his career. He has 199 wins overall and 87 have came in the OCCAC.