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- Lady Lions fall to Lady Chiefs
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|Lady Lions fall to Lady Chiefs|
Continuing to adjust to life without one of their best players in Quinishia McDowell, sixth-ranked Ouachita was defeated by second-ranked Natchitoches Central, 50-41 Friday night at home.
Sophomore guard Brandy Broome led the Lady Chiefs (28-6, 4-0) with a game high 22 points and guard Darnisha Hamilton added 17 in the win.
Ouachita was led by Miesha Williams' 16 and Traneshia Smith chipped in with 13 in the losing effort.
"You have to give a lot of credit to them (Natchitoches Central) for what they were able to do defensively against us tonight," Ouachita Head Coach John Merritt said. "We are just in a transition right now not having McDowell out there on the court with us. This is game two of life without her. It is just right now have to get acclimated to somehow else creating their own shot in pressure situations.
"I'm not worried. We are going to get better and we are going to get this fixed."
McDowell suffered a knee injury in the Lions game against West Monroe a little more than a week ago.
After falling behind early 4-0, Natchitoches Central went on a 7-0 run to grab a 7-4 advantage paced by a pressure defense which held Ouachita without a point for 2:57.
Going on a 7-0 run of their own at the end of the first quarter extending into the second quarter, Ouachita would regain the lead at 13-11 with 6:55 to go in the second quarter. The Lady Lion run was again paced by their defense, which held the Lady Chiefs without a point for 4:19.
A back-and-forth game until the end of the third quarter, Ouachita got as close as 33-30 with 4:01 left on Maria Brown's bucket.
However, that was the last bucket of the quarter for the Lady Lions and Natchitoches Central went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 40-30 and all but put the game out of reach.
"Not having McDowell out there for us was evident in our lack of execution on both sides of the ball," Merritt said. "Not only on offense, but in overall ball-handling. What we were missing was ball-handling and just court leadership. We had trouble all night long clearing the pressure that they (Natchitoches Central) threw at us in this game.
"Saying all of that we were in the game late and had a chance to win and that is all you can really ask from your team. That is what I told them after the game. With the team we played in this game along with West Monroe, you are talking about two of the best teams in the entire State of Louisiana. They just happened to be in our same district. Going through this adjustment period we may struggle at times against them, but I think we showed in this game that we are still a good team against them which means we are pretty good as well."