Shockers rally fourth-quarter exhibition win

Evan Pflugradt

The women’s basketball team rallied together a late fourth-quarter victory Sunday in an exhibition over the University of Central Oklahoma. 

Wichita State came out on top, 68-61, over the Bronchos of UCO.

The Shockers started off the game strong over the Bronchos with aggressive scoring from TaQuandra Mike and Diamond Lockhart. Lockhart started the game off with a quick drive to the basket to set the pace for the first half. 

“Diamond’s ability to maneuver the ball and her scoring ability is something that she’s come into this last week,” said Wichita State head coach Jody Adams. 

Adams was impressed with Lockhart’s abilities in her first start as a Shocker. The sophomore transfer from Texas Tech finished with 20 points, four rebounds and an assist. Lockhart said it was a great feeling to finally compete again. 

“It was a great feeling,” she said. “I got that rush I hadn’t had in a while, to make plays and help my teammates execute.”

The Shockers started a new lineup with just two returning players in their starting rotation: junior Jaleesa Chapel and sophomore Aundra Stovall. 

Adams said there remains plenty to be learned from this new group of players. 

“The team is very talented,” Adams said. “They’re just trying to learn to play together. We’ll grow and learn how to get stops and open shots.” 

Adams faces the task of quickly building team chemistry in a new team centered on transfers and freshmen. 

“We have a lot of freshmen and a lot of newcomers.” Adams said. “They’re going to be pressured by their opponents.”

The Bronchos did just that as they challenged WSU freshmen Jyar Francis early on in the game, hoping to target her inexperience, but Francis showed none. The freshman forward looked poised and confident in the post. Francis drew a lot of attention, and drew contact in the paint, sending her to the free-throw line on five occasions, where she was 8-10. 

“I was impressed with Jyar coming off the bench and stepping up and being so aggressive,” Adams said. “She came in with an aggressive mindset.”