An almost 40-year-old record for one of the most prestigious women’s basketball programs in the nation was broken Thursday evening in Hutcherson Center. That was the cherry on top of the fifth-ranked Wayland Baptist Flying Queens’ 109-49 Sooner Athletic Conference blowout of the Texas Wesleyan Lady Rams.
Morgan Bennett became the Flying Queens’ all-time assists leader when the senior all-American dished out her fourth of the game with about six minutes left in the second quarter. The historic 614th assist came on an in-bounds pass under Wayland’s basket and resulted in Kaylee Edgemon dropping in an easy bucket for a 41-17 lead.
“I’m super proud of Morgan,” said Flying Queens coach Alesha Ellis after watch her star senior break the record with 10 regular-season and the post-season still to play.
Bennett wound up with seven assists to push her total to 617, four more than the old record that’s been held since 1983 by Chris Kennedy of Slaton, who served as the Flying Queens’ guest coach in the game and presented Bennett with a plaque after the victory. Also on hand for the occasion were former Flying Queen, Queen Bees coach and Texas Tech Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp, along with Kennedy’s coach at Wayland, Cathy Wilson, as well as former Queens coach Johnna Pointer.
Ellis took time to reminisce a bit about Bennett, a 5-foot-8 guard from Shallowater.
“When we first got her we knew she would be a really good point-guard and would be a good passer, and over the years she’s just gotten better and better. She has the ability to come in and make a difference in a game by her passing alone,” the coach said.
Ellis added that Bennett’s scoring prowess – with some coaxing to shoot instead of pass to a teammate – has come on the last couple of seasons as well. “She’s grown to be an excellent scorer as well as passer.
“We’re just really proud of her.”
Bennett finished with 13 points, while teammates Jenna Cooper dumped in 28 and Edgemon 22. Cooper and Edgemon’s combined 50 points were one more than Texas Wesleyan’s total. Kambrey Blakey added 12 points and Cailyn Breckel 11.
Cooper, a first-year transfer, missed her season-high by one point. She did match her season-best with 14 rebounds for her team-high fifth double-double. Breckel missed her first double-double by one rebound.
Wayland (18-2, 10-1 SAC), which improved one spot to No. 5 in the most recent NAIA Coaches Top 25, controlled the game from the get-go, leading 29-13 after the first period and 55-28 at the half. The Flying Queens continued the onslaught in the second half, outscoring the Lady Rams 34-12 in the third period – when they shot 61 percent (14-of-23) from the field – to assume a commanding 89-40 lead.
The Flying Queens’ largest lead was the final 60-point margin, the second-biggest of the season behind the 67-point, 108-41 romp over Bacone just five days earlier. While that blowout was expected, Thursday’s wasn’t.
When Wayland and Wesleyan met in Fort Worth on Jan. 4, the Flying Queens won by 14, 78-64. What’s more, the Lady Rams went into the contest in third place in the SAC standings, right behind Wayland.
“Wesleyan is a good team. I know we beat them by quite a bit, but that was one of the best games we’ve played as a team all season,” Ellis said. “We moved the ball well and made plays on the defensive end. We were locked in on the defensive end, and that energy brought a lot of positive things on the offensive end.”
In logging their 14th straight win, the Queens wound up shooting 55 percent from the field (45-of-82), including 32 percent (10-of-31) from 3-point range.
Wayland, which committed just nine fouls, outrebounded Wesleyan, 55-33.
“The kids came to play and beat a really good team,” Ellis said. “Now we just have to do that Saturday.”
That’s when the Flying Queens host Southwestern Assemblies of God University (10-8, 5-6), a team Wayland downed in the first half of conference play in Waxahachie, 74-55. The teams split last season. The Lions eked past last-place Oklahoma-Panhandle State on Thursday in Goodwell, 81-77.
Saturday’s tip-off is at 2 p.m.
Courtesy of Wayland Baptist Athletics Communications Department