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Ricketts Scores 28, Llanas Gets Milestone Win As Express Women Capture OCCAC Title With 88-79 Win Over Columbus State
 February 24, 2013

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Columbus, OH---Emma-Jean Ricketts scored a team-high 28 points to help the No. 20 Express women's basketball team capture an outright OCCAC championship with an 88-79 win over Columbus State Community College on the road today.

Ricketts, who had 15 of her 28 in the second half, finished 11-for-17 overall from the field, 1-for-2 from 3-point range and 5-for-8 from the foul line. In addition, she added 11 rebounds (four offensive), two assists and one steal.

Ricketts scored the first five points of the game for the Express as they took a 7-2 lead early. After Columbus State took a 10-9 lead with 15:50 left in the first half, Uniqua Mitchell hit a jumper to put the Express back up for good. It wasn't easy, though.

The Cougars tied the game up at 20-all with 11:13 left before the Express went on a 16-4 run - capped by a Mackenzie Heacock 3-pointer that put her team up 36-24 with 4:03 left in the 1st half. During that stretch, five different players scored for the Express. 

The Express, however, didn't finish the half strong as the Cougars finished the half on a 10-3 run to trim their halftime deficit to just five.

The Cougars struck first, with a 3-pointer from Charlee Roark, to open the second half and only trailed by two. A 7-2 Express run - thanks to baskets by three different players - helped put them up seven with 16 minutes left. 

Then, with a 51-45 lead, Nandi Taylor hit a 3-pointer, a jumper in the lane, and picked off a pass for a lay-in to give the Exspress a 58-45 lead with 12:54 left. 

After that, the closest Columbus State got was five with just under five minutes remaining. The Express stretched the lead to as many as 14 with 43 seconds left.

Taylor finished second on the team in scoring with 15, while adding five rebounds and team-highs in assists (9) and steals (4). She finished 6-for-12 from the field and 2-for-2 from the foul line.

Heacock was third in scoring with 13 points, while adding eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. Karahn Scott added a double-double with 11 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

Danielle Bezeau finished third on the team in rebounding with 10, while adding six points, three assists and three steals. Breonna House came up big off the bench with eight points.

Karis Watts led Columbus State with 22 points and five steals, while Bailey Pierron (13), Roark (13), Chrissy Scipio and Melea Smith (12) also scored in double figures. Roark had a team-high eight rebounds, while Pierron and Scipio each had a team-high four assists.

Notes

With the victory, the Express improved to 23-7 overall and 10-2 in the OCCAC. They clinched the OCCAC championship outright, which gives them the top seed in the district tournament (March 8-9). They receive a quarterfinal round bye and open up semifinal action against an opponent TBA on the 8th. 

Ricketts now has 918 career points. She passed Stacey Weiland (908 points, 2002-04) and is one point away from Elizabeth Harris (919 points, 1996-98) for fifth place on the career scoring list. Only two players (Amy Amstutz and Aja Hall) have scored 1,000 points in Express women's basketball history.

Heacock now has 580 career points, while Scott has 489 career points and 472 career rebounds.

Head coach Mike Llanas captured his 200th career victory today, 88 of which have came in OCCAC play.



























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