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Lions: Ladies post record-setting win

It’s a wonder UAFS women’s basketball coach Louis Whorton wasn’t having flashbacks to the Lady Lions’ days a junior college program.

Four players scored in double-figures to lead the UAFS Lady Lions to a convincing 87-37 Heartland Conference win against the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies on Saturday at the Stubblefield Center.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak by the Lady Lions (8-17, 8-11), who avenged an earlier 71-65 loss to the Aggies (1-24, 1-18) on Jan. 9 at Goodwell, Okla.

UAFS set a NCAA Division II era school-record for margin of victory (50 points). Such a decisive margin of victory wasn’t rare when the Lady Lions were competing in the junior college ranks, particular in the early 1990s.

The Lady Lions went undefeated (35-0) during the 1994-95 season, winning the NJCAA national championship after finishing as national runner-up the previous season.

UAFS shot 42 percent from the field (28 for 66) – it was 9-for-27 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 73 percent from the free-throw line (22 for 30). Sophomore guard Candice Followwell led UAFS with 16 points, while freshman guard Sydney Franklin had 12, sophomore guard Brittany Holbert 11 and freshman forward Justyne Huber 10.

Followwell just missed a double-double, finishing with a team-high eight rebounds. UAFS dominated the rebounding battle by 14 rebounds (55-41).

Oklahoma Panhandle State, which trailed 49-14 at halftime, shot just 18 percent from the field (11 for 61) – a season-low for a UAFS opponent – and shot only 19 percent from 3-point range (5 for 27). The Aggies shot 67 percent from the free-throw line (10 for 15).

Senior guard Sarah Johnson led OPSU with 14 points, while senior center Sharice Papaleo had a team-high nine rebounds.

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