In the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing has been the same. That apparently includes losing streaks.
The Oxford Lady Chargers ended a nine-year losing streak to the Lafayette Lady Commodores winning 52-51 on a putback by Audria Houston with less than 10 seconds left. The Lafayette Commodores ended a 10-year losing streak to the Oxford Chargers to go along with snapping a seven-game losing streak to get their first win in the 2021 calendar year with a 64-60 overtime victory.
Lafayette (5-7 overall) held a small lead throughout the majority of the contest. Although Oxford (7-12) was able to take a one-point lead at a few different points, it was normally surrendered on the ensuing possession and felt like they were in an uphill battle never truly getting over the hump. Aside from an early 2-0 lead, Oxford’s lead was never bigger than one point.
“It’s a great win for our team, that’s a game we know that’s big for our community,” Oxford coach Cliff Ormon said who got his first win over Lafayette since becoming the head coach. “We needed a win no matter who was playing. We’ve been in close games the last couple of games against Hernando and Southaven. It came down to the fourth quarter and this one did as well. It was nice to be on the winning side and to see the excitement from our team and just seeing how hard it was to get that win.”
Houston made a putback with less than 10 seconds left to give Oxford its lead late. Lafayette turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and was not able to force the Lady Chargers to give up the ball with enough time to put up a shot.
Houston and Miracle Joiner each had 16 points to lead Oxford, while Joiner finished with a double-double coupling with 11 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks and Houston added eight rebounds. Keyunna Tellis only had six points, but had a season-high 11 assists and added five rebounds with four steals. Mariah Reed-Jones led Lafayette with 15 points. Harmony Jackson aided the Lady ‘Dores with 14 points.
In a game that was similar to the girls game, Oxford (8-7) never held a lead that made it to double-digits as Lafayette (4-9) trailed for the majority of the contest. After losing by 45 and 30 points to Center Hill and Lewisburg respectively over the weekend, Lafayette coach Brad Gray simply wanted to see some effort by his team. For Oxford coach Drew Tyler, he didn’t see much execution on offense thus making Lafayette’s job on defense easier.
“We were definitely stagnant on offense,” Tyler said. “Lack of ball movement, a lot of standing around on offense, so Lafayette didn’t have to work real hard to guard us.”
Lafayette stayed in it with the efforts from Mario Wilborn who finished with 18 points including 12 in the third quarter where all of his shots were around the rim. He fouled out late in the fourth quarter with a Charge call that put pressure on the Commodores on offense.
“Mario had a good feel,” Gray said. “He was getting good touches around the basket and he was just in rhythm tonight. Some nights he’s in rhythm and some nights he’s not. The past couple games, he got some of the similar looks as tonight, but he was mostly fading away from the basket and hitting turnarounds.”
Oxford held a 54-51 lead on Lafayette’s last possession in regulation. The Commodores eventually found JC Dennis open in the right corner of the court and knocked in the three with four seconds left to tie the game at 54-54 and forced the game into overtime. During the OT period, Oxford went up by four at 58-54, but went cold after that as Lafayette went on a 10-2 run including six points from Dennis to finish the period and pull off the upset. Nine of Dennis’ 13 points came after Wilborn fouled out of the game.
Chase Rose led Oxford with 26 points. Jacquez Elliott had 13 points and Derrius Southern finished with 12. DJ Davis led all Commodore scorers with 19 points to go with Wilborn’s 18 and Dennis’ 13.