SHAWNEE – Langston used a third-quarter run to create the separation it needed in an 81-73 win over St. Gregory's Tuesday night at Sumner Field House. The Lions, who received votes in the preseason coaches' poll, notched their fourth straight victory overall against the Cavaliers.
LU (3-2) broke open what had been a tightly contested game – neither team led by more than seven – late in the third. Up by one with 3:18 remaining in the period, the Lions scored the game's next 15 points to make it a commanding 67-51 advantage.
SGU (2-5) never recovered from that run, getting no closer than the game's final margin.
Despite the loss, the Cavs' Kylee Tatum posted her seventh double-figure game of the season. She had 29 on 7-for-17 from the floor and 13-for-14 from the free throw line. Freshman Lauren Godbold finished with the best game of her young career, netting 19 on 9 of 15 shooting.
Kelsie Howgard tallied nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Cavs. LU's Ri'Kell McWright finished with a game-best 32 points. The Cavs shot 38 percent for the game compared to 40 percent for the Lions. Langston scored 23 points off 22 SGU turnovers.
Langston erased an early deficit by holding the hosts to just 14 percent shooting in the second quarter. Down 22-19 with 8:04 remaining in the period, the Lions went on a 12-2 run over the span of nearly six minutes to go up 31-24.
The visitors would eventually take a 35-30 advantage into intermission. Both teams shot poorly from the field (30 percent for LU; 29 percent for SGU) but made up for it from the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes. The Lions were 9-for-11 from the stripe, while the Cavs made 14 of 18.
Tatum led all scorers with 17 points at the break – the bulk of those coming on a 13-for-14 showing from the free throw line. McWright netted 16 points to lead LU early on.
St. Gregory's opens Sooner Athletic Conference play Thursday at Bacone. Game time is set for 6 p.m. in Muskogee.