Despite a 23-point performance from Kamilah Carter (Pioneer/Ann Arbor, Mich.), the No. 6 Express women's basketball team couldn't weather the storm as the Columbus State Community College Cougars utilized a 12-2 run to end the game with a final score of 73-67.
The game was back-and-forth up until the 7:58 mark of the first half when the Cougars started to pull away. The Express trailed 38-28 heading into halftime.
The second half started with the Cougars coming out firing and taking a 13 point lead before the momentum shifted in favor of the Express.
The lead was 12 for the Cougars after a Paige Lewis jump shot made it 44-32. That's when Carter utilized a lethal jump shot of her own and nailed a shot from long range to ignite the Express offense. The Express pulled within four before the Cougars pulled away yet again.
With 6:28 left in the game, the Express took their first lead since the 13:51 mark of the first half after an Ashley Tunstall (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton, Ohio) jumper pushed the score to 57-56. The Express held the lead until 3:36 left in the matchup when Hannah Frey sank a shot for the 66-65 Cougar lead. 20 seconds later, Carter hit a lay-up to give the Express back the lead but that would be the last points the Express would score.
Carter led the Express offensively with 23 points. She also finished tied for the team-lead in assists with six. Carter was a rock, playing in all 40 minutes of the contest. Tunstall was also a bright spot for the Express offense, shooting 5-for-8 from the field and 1-for-3 from the line to give her 11 points and seven rebounds.
LaKayra Carlisle (Pershing/Detroit, Mich.) led the Express bench in scoring with 11 points while adding 11 rebounds and shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
As a team, the Express shot only 25-for-72 (34.7 percent) from the field. The Express did out-rebound the Cougars to a tune of 55 to 34. The Express also dominated the game down low by getting 36 points in the paint compared to the Cougars' 22. The Express experienced a bit of sloppiness with 26 turnovers on the day, however.
Frey was the hottest hand for the Cougars as she went 5-for-9 from 3-point land and finished the day with 24 points. Breyonia Hearn added 12 points and 8 assists. Taylor Horn and Paige Lewis were each forces off the bench with 10 points each for the Cougars.
The loss brings the Express record to 18-2 overall and 4-1 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play. It is the first loss for the Express since the season-opener against No. 3 Kirkwood Community College. It also snapped the record-tying 18 game win streak that the Express built.
The Express women's team will look to get back on track when they travel to Cleveland on Wednesday to take on Cuyahoga Community College. The Express defeated Cuyahoga earlier this season on Jan. 15, 87-51 at the Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC).