ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University’s women’s basketball team used its final game of calendar year 2013 to get back on track, topping Oklahoma Panhandle State University, 67-53, in a Heartland Conference bout at Kimbrell Arena.
The win snapped a four-game skid by the War Hawks (2-8, 2-2 HC), while keeping the Aggies (0-12, 0-6 HC) winless.
McM actually trailed at the half, 30-27, but sophomore guard Sierra Maykus keyed the victory by scoring a career-high 21 points, thanks to a 5-of-12 shooting day from the floor. Maykus was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 7-for-12 from the free throw stripe. She also had eight rebounds in her 30 minutes of court time.
The War Hawks blitzed the Aggies in the second half of play, out-scoring the visitors 40-23 during the final stanza.
“I think they were ready to play and had a lot of excitement,” McM head coach Veronica Snow said of her team’s efforts. “It’s just that time of year. We were really hungry for a win. I’m real proud of the girls and their efforts. We had different people step up at different times of the game.”
In addition to Maykus’ performance, senior guard Tory Salazar found herself in double digits with 16 points. Salazar hit 7-of-12 from the floor, as McM found help from all quarters to garner the win.
Senior Keshia Collins had her double-figure scoring streak snapped at eight games, but contributed a solid game of eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore forward Taylor Russell, the War Hawks’ “enforcer” on the defensive end, had a team-high nine rebounds (eight defensive).
Sophomore post player Ana Dominguez was limited to four points and four rebounds, but had three blocked shots. Junior Tineka Lawson added five caroms.
McMurry took advantage of 26 OPSU turnovers, converting them into 25 of its points. McM also held a 14-9 margin in second-chance points.
Hannah Tatum came off the OPSU bench to tally 12 points in leading her club. OPSU’s Sharice Papaleo led all rebounders with 11 boards.
McMurry will resume action on Saturday, January 4 (1 p.m.) - with its seventh-consecutive home game - when it welcomes St. Edward’s University to Kimbrell Arena.
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