Eagles Fly Away with First Round Victory


Laura Barrios Bardi

Diaka Berete shoots over her SCU defender, while her teammate, Lainey Morrow, posts up against her defender.

Preston Palm, Contributing Writer

The women’s SAC basketball tournament kicked off Thursday, February 23rd, with USAO entering the night as the #3 seed in the tournament. The Drovers were matched up against the #6 seed, Southwestern Christian University (SCU). Many expected the Drovers to roll past SCU due to their recent success against them, USAO had won their two previous meetings against the Eagles with a 71-57 victory in November and a 53-46 victory at the beginning of February.

The Drovers started fast as they scored their first basket within the first six seconds of the game with a layup from the tip-off by Lainey Morrow. The first quarter went as many would expect, the teams traded early baskets, but after the first the Drovers led 17-12.

The second quarter turned the tide as SCU outscored USAO 18-10 in the quarter. The Drovers managed to keep a lead until the final buzzer before halftime, however, SCU took a three-point lead going into the half with a deep three pointer at the buzzer. The three-pointer came from MJ Case, who’s hot hands earned her 30 points by the end of the game. The Eagles shot 7-17 field goals in the second quarter, while the Drovers only hit two field goals in the entire quarter. The free throw line kept the Drovers in play as they went 6-8 from the charity stripe to go into the half.

The second half was a struggle for the Drovers, and USAO couldn’t grasp a lead for most of the first half. The Drovers fell behind by as many as seven points in the third quarter, the Drovers found themselves playing catch-up for the entire second half. USAO fought their way back multiple times throughout the fourth, but couldn’t get the victory due to clutch shooting from the Eagles. The final score was 67-62, in favor of SCU.

Morrow led the scoring column for the Drovers with 18 points paired with nine rebounds, who was also awarded a 1st team SAC selection this season. Trinitee Alexander, the SAC Sixth Woman of the Year, followed closely with 12 points, six rebounds, and two steals. USAO has three players that possibly ended their career with this game, including Zaria Dorsey, Jessica Palmer, and Tahlia Sloan-Casey. Dorsey fouled out of the game, but not before earing six points and three rebounds. Palmer used her quick feet to snag seven rebounds and four assists. Sloan-Casey added one point to the team with a free-thrown early in the game.

USAO is unsure of the rest of their season after this loss. The Drovers will know for certain what the rest of their season, or lack thereof, will be after the selection show Thursday, March 2nd.


Preston Palm is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.