Photo Courtesy: HSU Athletics
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (HSU) -- Southwestern Oklahoma held off a late push by Henderson State as the Bulldogs defeated the Lady Reddies 69-59, Thursday at the Great American Conference Basketball Tournament in Bartlesville, Okla.
Despite outrebounding the Bulldogs 44 to 35, the Lady Reddies could not stop Southwestern's play underneath as the second-seeded Bulldogs outscored Henderson 44 to 28 in the paint.
Southwestern jumped out to a 9-2 lead as Henderson State struggled in the early going making just 1-of-11 field goal attempts before Destiny Smith got an offensive put back and made a free throw to convert on a 3-point play.
The Bulldogs began to heat up as Southwestern went on a 16-4 run to take a 25-12 advantage with the help of some solid shooting by Michelle Fisher as she scored 10 points during the run.
Sheay Longstaff tried to turn things around for Henderson with a 3-point field goal at the 6:24 mark to make the score 25-15.
Southwestern, however, scored 11 points off of 12 first-half turnovers by the Lady Reddies and took a 34-24 lead into the locker room at the break.
Henderson State cut the deficit to two possessions on several occasions in the second half but the Bulldogs answered each time.
Smith recorded her fourth straight double-double and her 11th of season, ending the game with 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Lady Reddies.
Krystal Beachum totaled 10 points and 5 assists for Henderson, while Dulincia Keener scored 7 points to go along with 9 rebounds.
Fisher led Southwestern with 26 points, while SaRaya Oyler totaled 14 points and Kylie Boggess with 11.
The Lady Reddies shot just 34 percent from the field making 22-of-65 field goals, while the Bulldogs hit on 25-of-54 field goals for 46 percent shooting.
Henderson State finishes the season with a 13-14 record while Southwestern Oklahoma improves to 22-5 and will advance to Saturday's semifinal to face Harding.