Saturday, December 8, 2012

Olivet Nazarene puts together two huge halves to open tourney with a W

One characteristic so for for the NAIA women's team at Olivet Nazarene has been inconsistency. Not of effort, mind you, since I don't believe anyone ever could doubt that of a System team. No, the problems for the Tigers have been putting together two solid shooting halves in a single game.

It might have been simply early-season rustiness. Or it could be the players still are getting re-accustomed to the pace. Or it could be something else. Whatever the reason, I doubt anyone in the program was worried, particularly since the Tigers won seven of their first eight games.

They ran that streak to eight of the first nine with the type of shooting performance we've come to expect from them.

Ashley Wilson missed only one of her nine shots to finish with 19 points and former Galesburg HS star Tai Peachy had one of the best games of her career to help Olivet Nazarene beat Wilberforce University 124-77 Friday night in the Holiday Inn Express Tournament at McHie Arena.

Peachy, a sophomore point guard, was 3-for-3 from the field, including one 3-pointer, and 7-for-7 from the free throw line for 14 points. She also four assists and two steals of the Tigers' 28 steals. Danielle Tolbert also scored 14 points and had four steals, Liz Bart scored 13 points and Malory Adam had 12 for Olivet Nazarene (8-1). Jessica Gerig had four steals, as well.

The Tigers led by 20 at the break and really got going in the second half. They made 12 of their 19 3s after halftime and finished at 32 percent for the game from beyond the arc, all while attempted 103 total shots (59 from 3-point range). Wilberforce had 41 turnovers.

The Bulldogs actually led 30-29 with 5:22 left in the opening half, if you can believe that. Olivet Nazarene closed it out with a 26-5 run to move ahead 55-35, with 20 of those points in the final 4:30. It was a devastating stretch for Wilberforce, the oldest private historically black college or university in the country.

The Tigers finish up the tournament against St. Catharine College on Saturday, with the game scheduled to start at 4 p.m. EST. Let's keep it going!

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