(MSUB Athletics release)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Shooting 54.0 percent overall from the field on Wednesday morning at the Ocean Center Arena, No. 21 Angelo State University put its offense on display and rolled to an 89-66 win over the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team at the NCAA D2 Daytona Beach Shootout.
The Rams, who entered the day averaging 76.3 points and holding a scoring margin of plus-19.7, made 34 of 63 shots overall in the game, including 13 of 26 threes (50.0 percent) and 8 of 10 free throws. De’Anira Moore dominated play under the basket, with a game-high 24 points on 10 of 12 shooting in just 23 minutes. She also had a team-high eight rebounds, in a game where ASU enjoyed a 40-24 margin on the boards. Dezirae Hampton (16 points), Marquita Daniels (15), and Mikayla Blount (12) were also in double figures to help ASU improve to 8-1 on the season.
MSUB stuck with their first NCAA D2 nationally-ranked opponent of the year in the opening half, thanks in large part to a line of 6-for-14 from 3-point range (42.9 percent) in the opening 20 minutes. The ‘Jackets cooled off in the second however, making just 3 of 12 treys (25.0 percent). “We got beat today by a very talented team,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “Our players fought hard and played their hearts out. Our staff was proud of our effort today.”
Janessa Williams led her team with a career-high 16 points, and also grabbed five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Senior Taylor Edwards had her best performance of the year with 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting, including three 3-pointers and a pair of free throws. Brina Hull hit a career-high four 3-pointers and was two points shy of her career high, as she finished with a dozen while chipping in three assists.
The Yellowjackets moved to an even 4-4 on the season with the defeat. “Give Angelo State credit, as they shot the 3-pointer better than they have all year,” Woodin said. “They have talented players at every position. Moore is so good inside and they penetrate very well.”
Hull connected on back-to-back threes midway through the first, the second one coming on an assist from Emily St. John and giving the ‘Jackets a 10-9 advantage. ASU responded with a seven-point swing coming out of a timeout, reestablishing its lead late in the opening quarter.
MSUB had difficulty keeping the 6-foot-4 Moore at bay early on, as she had six of her team’s first 11 points in the game. Despite that, MSUB kept it close and trailed by as little as 27-24 after a pair of foul shots by Williams four minutes before halftime. The Rams out-scored the ‘Jackets 16-8 in the rest of the half however, and by the midway point in the third quarter ASU had completed a 16-5 run that resulted in an insurmountable 20-point lead.
“We made shots early and defended well,” Woodin said. “We shot the three better, which needs to be one of our weapons. Brina and Taylor hit some big ones, our posts were effective, and Janessa did some great things too.”
Daniels picked out a steal that resulted in a breakaway layup midway through the third quarter, which gave Angelo State its largest lead of the game to that point up 53-38. The Rams used a hot-shooting third quarter overall to distance themselves, leading 65-46 by the end of the period.
Less than 24 hours after putting up a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double, freshman Taryn Shelley approached the mark again as she had eight points and a team-leading nine rebounds in 23 minutes. She also had a season-high four blocks, and a pair of assists.
Junior guard Jeanann Lemelin played a career-high 38 minutes on Wednesday, and came within one of her personal bests with four assists and four steals. “Jeanann and Emily ran our offense well, and I believe we are headed in the right direction,” said Woodin. “We look forward to GNAC play after the break, and need to get healthy.”
THE BUZZ: Edwards was selected as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…MSUB is now 0-1 all-time against Angelo State…St. John matched her personal best with three assists…Williams topped her mark of 15 points, which she achieved on Nov. 16, 2018 at Chadron State…the last player to match Shelley’s four blocks in a game was Alisha Breen, on Jan. 20, 2018 at Concordia…Hull made her third-career start and first of the 2018-19 season…the last team to shoot better than 54.0 percent against MSUB was the University of Alaska Anchorage, which shot 55.1 percent in an 81-60 win over MSUB on Jan. 6, 2018…MSUB was without its top two scorers, Hannah Collins and Taylor Cunningham, who were both sidelined with injuries.
NEXT UP: The ‘Jackets are finished with non-conference play and are off until the calendar turns to 2019. MSUB will resume Great Northwest Athletic Conference play at home, against Saint Martin’s University on Jan. 3 and Seattle Pacific University Jan. 5. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.