JOPLIN, MISSOURI: The Royals traveled to Joplin, Missouri, to play the Ozark Christian College Ambassadors on Monday, January 8. After leading 39-25 at halftime, the Royals built up their lead and won the game 79-51. For the first time this season, everyone on the team scored at least 2 points. The Royals' record improves to 8-10 with the victory.
The Royals came out strong against the Ambassadors, gaining an early 3-0 advantage with a steal and 3-pointer from Darielle Evans. With seven minutes left in the first quarter, the game was tied at 8; the Royals rallied for a 15-0 run and led 23-8 with two minutes left in the first quarter. By the end of the first quarter, the Royals led 28-14. In the second quarter, the Ambassadors trimmed the Royals' lead down to as few as 10 points at 33-23, but the Royals rebuilt their lead to 14 points by halftime.
The Royals entered the second half with a 39-25 advantage. They began the second half with a 14-0 run, bringing the score to 53-25 with a little over 6 minutes left in the third quarter. The teams exchanged shots for the rest of the quarter, and the Royals maintained their advantage, leading 61-37 going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Royals led by as many as 32 points; by the end of the game, the Royals were up 79-51.
The Royals shot 40.8% from the field (29 of 71) and 35.5% from the 3-point line (11 of 31) while holding the Ambassadors to 30.3% from the field (20 of 66) and 37.5% from the 3-point line (9 of 24). The Royals had 24 points off turnovers, 16 second-chance points, 34 points in the paint, and 15 bench points, while the Ambassadors had 14 points off turnovers, 9 second-chance points, 18 points in the paint, and 10 bench points. The Royals had 51 rebounds and 16 assists to the Ambassadors' 33 rebounds and 13 assists.
This game was the first time this season that every Royal scored in the same game. The Royals were led in scoring by Darielle Evans with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Karen Orozco contributed 16 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Alyssa Strickland had 15 points and 3 rebounds, while Tschida Johnson had 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. Jasmine White had 8 points and 6 rebounds, and Marisa Brown had 5 points and 17 rebounds. Loretta Gamboe contributed 5 points and 6 rebounds, and Majesty Pelletier contributed 2 points.
Two of the Ambassadors scored in double digits, led by Baylee Hilton with a game-high 21 points and Adreonna Hughes with 10 points.
UP NEXT: The Royals will continue their travels to play Central Christian College of the Bible on Tuesday, January 9, in Moberly, Missouri. The game will start at 5 p.m.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff