Newman women clinch share of Heartland Conference title

Amazing stuff from the Newman women’s basketball team – lose their best player in the first game of the year and then this …

Newman’s Alex Adekunle scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Jets rallied from 13 points down in the second half to beat Texas-Permian Basin 84-81 in Odessa, Texas, and clinch at least a share of the Heartland Conference women’s title in a battle of the league’s two first-place teams.

It’s the first women’s crown for the Jets since moving up to NCAA Division II.

Newman was playing without two injured starters in Bobbi Coleman and leading scorer Philicia Kelly.

“We worked pretty hard to get back in this one,” said Newman first-year coach Jaime Green. “The players are the ones that have to execute, though. Us coaches are just along for the ride.”

Tasha Cannon added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Jets. Celeste Key added 10 points and point guard Rhea Codio had 14 points and six assists.

“I thought Rhea did a great job of keeping us focused when we got down,” Green said.

The Jets improved to 18-7 overall and 8-1 in Heartland play. Newman’s final regular-season game is Thursday at Oklahoma Panhandle State in Goodwell, Okla., where they can clinch the title outright with a victory and the top seed in the league tournament.

“I’m a competitor so I’d rather win it straight out and be conference champs and then also win the conference tournament,” Green said. “I was really proud of our kids today.”