STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater and Bishop McGuinness went into the final quarter as a toss-up. Stillwater trailed by five points going into the final eight minutes but pulled together for a rally.
The Lady Pioneers erased the Lady Irish lead in the final quarter to come away with a 51-41 come-from-behind win.
“We just had to slow them down and play our game and it worked out pretty good for us,” Stillwater junior Lauren Stettnisch said.
Stillwater went on a 17-2 run in the final frame which proved to be the difference maker.
“Overall the second half was pretty good for us,” Stillwater coach Clay Stephens said.
Becca Worthy gathered a rebound in the fourth quarter and pushed the ball ahead to a wide-open Dylan Fix in transition. Fix stepped to her spot behind the 3-point line and swished a long-distance shot for a 39-39 tie with 6:01 remaining in the game.
Stephens called a timeout to talk to the Lady Pioneers.
Following the timeout, Stettnisch made a layup to take a 41-39 lead. Stillwater never looked back.
SHS led 44-41 with 1:41 to go when Bishop McGuinness called a timeout.
Stettnisch and the Lady Pioneers closed out the game to deny a Lady Irish win. Stetnisch made a layup and three free throws in the final minute of the game. Fix also made two free throws toward the end.
“We didn’t make all of our free throws but we made some down the stretch that got us the lead,” Stephens said.
Stettnisch led all scorers with a 23-point night.
Fix dropped in 10 points for Stillwater and Alicia Taylor chipped in nine points on three 3-point shots.
Bishop McGuinness’ Torie Shanbour scored 15 and Hattie Msuya dropped in eight points in the loss.
Stillwater has had a tough time with turnovers this year but limited itself to nine and forced 17 against Bishop McGuinness.
“In the second half I thought our defense was pretty good,” Stephens said.
The win shows that if the turnover battle is won, the Lady Pioneers will have a much better chance of coming out on top.
“We’ve been working on it at practice. We executed well (Friday night),” Stettnisch said.
Stillwater is used to getting pressed defensively but on Friday night the Lady Pioneers worked on their full-court press defense in the first half.
“What we’re going to try to do when we’re pressing people is try to stretch the game out a little bit. Maybe we can get some shots without their defense set,” Stephens said.
Stillwater pressured Bishop McGuinness from even beyond the 3-point line. The Lady Irish attempted 24 long-distance shots and put in seven.
“Their main thing is 3-point shooting. In first half they hurt us with that and we changed our defense and they struggled shooting the ball,” Stephens said. “We guarded their 3-point shooters and their offense went stale there.”