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Houston stands tall in win over Oaks

Junior All-American forward dominates with 43 points and 29 rebounds

All-American junior forward Sharon Houston

Chris Sheid/Office of Marketing and Communications
All-American junior forward Sharon Houston

During Indiana University Northwest’s 75-58 win over the Oakland City University Lady Oaks (NCAA II, Oakland City, Ind.) on Friday, Dec. 17, All-American junior forward Sharon Houston stood tall amongst all other players. Houston matched her own school-record of 43 points while adding 29 rebounds and three blocks. 

The 6’ 4” Houston was superb, going 17-24 from the floor and 9-11 from the line despite double teams from the tandem 6’ 1” Oakland City post players.  Houston helped IU Northwest open up a 10 point advantage with a dominant first half in which she collected 26 points and 16 rebounds, including the RedHawks’ first 10 points of the game. 

“We played well defensively and rebounded well as a team, which was key; however, we didn’t shoot the ball well and we may not have won without the special performance by Sharon,” said IU Northwest head coach Ryan Shelton. 

Despite Houston’s impressive numbers, her 43 points only matched her career high and a school record set last season. Her 29 rebounds were second only to the 31 boards she grabbed earlier this season in a win over Trinity Christian College.  Houston currently leads all NAIA-II players in blocks and rebounds.

The RedHawks used clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch by junior guard Nina Wills (10-10 ft) and three second-half treys by backcourt mate Juliette Keller to halt a second-half run by Oakland City (5-5), who had trimmed the lead to eight with just under three minutes to play. 

Keller ended the night with nine points, while freshman forward Marissa Butler chipped in eight points and eight rebounds.  Senior forward Jenelle Kapelinski pulled down nine rebounds and dished out four assists   

“Sharon’s performance tonight was special,” Shelton said. “She is one of the best players in the country; she’s great every night, but was definitely on tonight.”

On the following day of the Trinity Christian Classic, the RedHawks lost a close contest to the Roosevelt University Lakers (Chicago) 82-78 to drop their season record to 8-3 overall. 

Houston followed her great effort on Friday with another terrific performance, registering 31 points and 18 rebounds in the narrow loss. For the weekend, Houston averaged 37 points and 23.5 rebounds.

Freshman guard/forward Marissa Butler set a new career high with 18 points to go with 10 rebounds.  Fellow freshman Annmarie Keller added 14 points of the bench for IU Northwest. 

“Most of things that usually hurt us weren’t the problem today,” Shelton said. “Our defense is usually consistent; however, we didn’t have the defensive effort we needed to win.S haron’s statistics were incredible this weekend, and Marissa and Annmarie are really beginning to break through with very solid individual performances.

“However, the goal was to win both games,” he added. “We have some injuries to key players right now and the break is coming at a good time for us.”

The RedHawks return to action following the holiday break when they travel to the University of Michigan Dearborn on Dec. 29 for a 5 p.m. EST tip and then the following day the team will visit #2 Davenport University at 5 p.m. EST.


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

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