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story.lead_photo.caption Matthew Christensen/JBU Sports Information Oklahoma City women's basketball players celebrate after winning the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday at Bill George Arena. The defending national champion Stars defeated Science and Arts 89-63.

Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Year Daniela Galindo and the Oklahoma City women's basketball team are plenty motivated, and the defending national champion Stars showed that this past week in the SAC Tournament at John Brown.

Galindo scored a game-high 32 points and was named tournament most valuable player as Oklahoma City cruised by Science and Arts 89-63 in the SAC Championship on Saturday at Bill George Arena.

Sooner Athletic Conference All Tournament Team

MVP - Daniela Galindo, Oklahoma City

Hustle Award - Dierra Ely, Science and Arts

Alexis Hill, Oklahoma City

Michaela Kay, Oklahoma City

Taylor LaCour, Oklahoma City

Darian Hill, Science and Arts

Baily Cameron, John Brown

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament

WOMEN

Tuesday’s results

Quarterfinals

USAO 66, Southwestern Christian 56

John Brown (Ark.) 83, Mid-America Christian 69

Wayland Baptist 93, Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) 45

Oklahoma City 82, Bacone 48

Friday’s results

Semifinals

At Bill George Arena, Siloam Springs

Oklahoma City 104, Wayland Baptist 71

USAO 72, John Brown 62

Saturday’s result

Championship

At Bill George Arena, Siloam Springs

Oklahoma City 89, Science and Arts 63

It's the 12th SAC Tournament in school history for the Stars (28-5).

Oklahoma City and Science and Arts (28-5) tied for the regular season SAC championship, but the Drovers earned the top seed in the tournament via tiebreakers. That was all the inspiration the Stars needed, according to Galindo, who played all 40 minutes of Saturday's game.

"I think us not being ranked No. 1, you know that just only fueled our fire," Galindo said. "That just meant we had more to prove. That really got our momentum going. And especially this momentum we have going of a winning streak, I mean that's so good for us. I think the way we are playing together right now for this tournament, it's a really great feeling and I think it's really exciting for the national tournament."

Science and Arts, which eliminated host John Brown on Friday, battled the Stars for the first quarter-and-a-half and led Oklahoma City 20-18 after the first quarter. The Stars went on an 8-0 run and pulled ahead 31-23 with 5 minutes, 5 seconds left in the second quarter, but the Drovers got back within 31-28 after a basket by Shaylynn Bass and a 3-pointer from Rebecca Worthy.

Oklahoma City answered with an 11-0 run to end the half and take a 42-28 lead at halftime. Alexis Hill started the run with a bucket and Galindo followed with a 3-pointer.

Hill then hit two free throws and Galindo scored inside for a 40-28 lead. Hill's bucket at the end of the half gave the Stars a 42-28 lead, while Science and Arts finished the half with four turnovers and two missed shots.

"You know, first off they're a really, really good team," said Science and Arts coach Darrick Matthews. "Today we thought that they just played extremely aggressive. They were physical today, and we didn't do a very good job of matching their physicality. We're usually the aggressor, and they were definitely the bullies today."

Science and Arts outscored the Stars 22-18 in the third quarter to pull within 10 going into the fourth quarter.

Galindo proved to be unstoppable in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points and the Stars outscored the Drovers 29-13 in the period. She also finished the game with nine rebounds.

"It's awesome, and it's no better feeling than having these kinds of games in the tournament," Galindo said. "I think a lot of the credit goes to my teammates. I can't do it without them and they've really done a lot and got me open and got me some shots, and our coach also for making a lot of good plays for us."

Oklahoma City hit 51.7 percent (30 of 58) of its shots from the field, including 16 of 27 shots in the second half.

The Stars' second half on Saturday is kind of a microcosm of their late-season run. They've won eight straight games heading into the NAIA National Tournament next week, which will be played in Billings, Mont.

"These players just kept getting better and better and kept working, and I'm really proud of them," said OCU coach Bo Overton. "It's one of those deals where we just got better and better as the season went on. We had some injuries we had to overcome, which everybody does. But I was just really proud of how they executed down the stretch and especially how they were ready to play in this tournament."

Michaela Kay added five 3-pointers off the bench and finished with 18 points for Oklahoma City, while Hill had 15 points and Taylor LaCour had 12. All three of those players were named to the All-Tournament Team, along with Science and Arts' Darian Hill and John Brown's Baily Cameron, while Dierra Ely of Science and Arts earned the tournament's hustle award.

Science and Arts also will be headed to the national tournament next week when the official bracket is released by the NAIA. Bass led the Drovers with 11 points, while Vivian Holcomb and Hill each had 10, Rebecca Worthy nine and Ely eight.

"We know that we're going to continue to play on, just like they're going to play on," We think we got three good teams (including Wayland Baptist) in the conference that are going to be able to make a run at the national tournament.

"You know it sounds really bad, but this may be a good thing for us only because I think it's going to help regroup us and kind of refocus us and get us back on track."

Oklahoma City 89, Science and Arts 63

Oklahoma City^18^24^18^29^--^89

Science and Arts^20^8^22^13^--^63

Oklahoma City (28-5): Galindo 32, Kay 18, Hill 15, LaCour 12, Hammons 5, Beathard 4, Taylor 3.

Science and Arts (28-5): Bass 11, Holcomb 10, Hill 10, Worthy 9, Alexander 8, Ely 8, Johnson 5, Bean 2.

Sports on 03/07/2018

Print Headline: Stars shine in women's championship

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