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Fists fly in Lady Reddies' 69-65 loss to OBU | Sports & Recreation

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Fists fly in Lady Reddies' 69-65 loss to OBU
Fists fly in Lady Reddies' 69-65 loss to OBU

Arkadelphia has played host to many years of the legendary Battle of the Ravine. Most notably, the football version.

But on Thursday night there were not pads, helmets or even footballs.

Though every member from the 2010 Gulf South Conference championship team was in attendance and honored at halftime for their great season, Thursday was a night to continue the great rivalry that so many know of and to add another chapter to the already great book. But most of all, it was another night for one school to take back bragging rights.

 At least for a few weeks. It was the Battle of the Ravine, basketball style. Last year both the Ouachita Baptist Lady Tiger and the Henderson State Lady Reddies traded blows as both teams split the season series.

This year, game one went to the Lady Tigers has they beat their arch rivals 83-70.

The ballgame started just has head Lady Reddies’ coach Josh Matthews wanted it to.

Score and score early. Staring at a 10-3 lead early in the first half, it looked as if Matthews was going to get what he had hoped for. But the Lady Tigers had other plans. Leading by seven with 13:20 on the clock, the Lady Tigers began their comeback.

After two quick threes, one each from junior guards Domino Miller and Beulah Osueke, the Lady Tigers had erased their deficit down to one with 10:53 still left in the first half.

The Lady Reddies answered with a 3-pointer of their own off the hands of junior forward Marsharae Brown to lead 13-9.

But that did not slow down the hot hands of the Lady Tigers as they took their first lead of the ball game with 6:03 on the clock, this time on a 3-pointer from senior guard Gabby Coleman.

A few moments later, the Lady Reddies tied the score up at 17-17 before junior forward Joycelyn Taylor hit a short jumper to give her team a 19-17 lead with just over four minutes to play in the opening half.

The Lady Reddies could only muster one more bucket before heading into halftime while the Lady Tigers added 11 quick points to take a 28-22 lead into the locker room.

That was all the Lady Tigers need to down the Lady Reddies. After starting the game off so strong, the Lady Reddies could not handle the defensive switch from man to zone from the Lady Tigers.

“We just quit attacking,” said Matthews.

“When you play against the zone you have to attack and get into the lane, hit the seams and get the ball reversed.” The Lady Reddies committed 17 turnovers in the first half while OBU threw the ball away 12 times.

The zone defense proved to be a good one for the Lady Tigers has they cruised to an easy win.

The second half started and ran like wildfire for the Lady Tigers. Starting the half with eight quick points, the Lady Reddies could not get anything going on offence.

Down by 14, the Lady Reddies cut the deficit in half after senior guard Malorie Marshall hit an easy layup. Then the emotions came out and tempers flared.

With 8:33 on the clock, Marshall and sophomore post player Breana Dillard got into a heated exchange, ending with one punch thrown from Dillard and a hard shove from Marshall.

Both players received technical fouls on the play. Dillard was not ejected, though the NCAA rule states that she should have been. The referees claimed they missed the punch.

The Lady Tigers pulled out to a 16-point lead at 71-55 with 4:53 left in regulation. This was the largest lead for either team all night.

The Lady Reddies tried to make some noise very late, cutting the Lady Tigers’ lead to seven once again, this time on a 3-pointer from senior guard Jazmine Ellis, but it was too little too late.

With the final seconds ticking off, the Lady Tigers found themselves with a round one victory of the Lady Reddies in this year’s Battle of the Ravine.

“This team has been one of the hardest teams I have ever tried to coach,” said Matthews.

“They are not bad kids individually, but they have got to have a heck of a lot more fight than what we showed tonight.”

Osueke led the Lady Tigers with 21 points behind 12 rebounds and 7-9 from the foul line. Junior guard A’Laeshia Adams followed with 18 points and five rebounds. The Lady Tigers finished with 30 turnovers on the night.

The Lady Reddies were led by Ellis, who did not score until the second half. She had 15. Marshall followed with 14 and five boards. The Lady Reddies also committed 30 turnovers on the night.

“We work on passing, dribbling and shooting every day,” said Matthews. “Tonight we didn’t pass, dribble or shoot very well.”

The Lady Reddies move their record to 11-7 overall and 2-4 in GSC play. The Tigers are 14-4 and 5-1.

The Lady Reddies hit the road as they head to Russellville to take on the Golden Suns on Thursday.

Opening tip is set for 5:30 p.m.