By: Chris Due - Athletic Media Relations Director
LUBBOCK, Texas (February 1, 2014) – Lubbock Christian University out-scored University of Arkansas Fort Smith 57-40 in the second half to overcome their first halftime deficit at home and win 92-77 in Heartland Conference play Saturday inside Rip Griffin Center. The win matches a program record 17-game win streak and keeps them unbeaten (14-0) in conference play and atop the standings.
The first half was full of streaky play. LCU trailed by a six-point deficit midway through the half after a 7-0 Lady Lions run provided a 19-13 lead. The Lady Chaps had a run of their own, using a 12-2 run to take a 27-23 lead with 4:29 left in the half. UAFS would respond with an 8-0 run to regain the lead at 33-29 with 2:11 closing on the half. A jumper by Chauntel Terry, who had eight of her 10 points in the first half, at the horn provided UAFS a 37-35 halftime lead to mark the first time this season the Lady Chaps trailed at the half at home. There were four lead changes in the half. Each team struggled from the perimeter in the half, as they combined 8-of-30 (26.7%) from three-point range (LCU was 4-of-16 for 25%). LCU was led by Emily Pool in the half, as she produced 11 points in the half.
The second half had a much different pace. Teams combined for four points from the line in the opening half and 29 points from the line in the second half. LCU was 19-of-22 (86.4%) from the line in the half, which helped build and maintain a lead. Kelsey Hoppel helped give LCU the lead for good early in the half, as she hit a pair of three-pointers following a 5-0 run to open the half for a 45-41 lead under three minutes into the second half. Maddy Backus answered Hoppel’s second trey with one of her own to cut LCU’s lead to 45-44 before LCU went on a 10-2 run for a 55-46 lead with 12 minutes remaining. Hoppel ended up with 14 points in the second half, connecting on four three-pointers in the half. They also received 11 points in the half by Kaycie Boyles, as part of her season-high 18 points. UAFS tried to rally with under five minutes left, as they went on a 7-0 run to cut LCU’s lead to 76-70, but LCU responded with an 8-0 run capped by an old fashioned three-point play by Haley Burton with 3:20 to go.
Nicole Hampton notched her 30th career double-double and her fifth of the season with 13 rebounds and 12 points. The 13 boards places her with 741 career rebounds to move past Carol Hise (732 from 1990-94) and into fourth place on LCU’s all-time rebound list. Also moving up the program career charts was Hoppel, who connected on five three-pointers for 164 on her career to move into sole possession of fourth place all-time (passed Brandi Grider who had 159 from 1995-99).
Pool led all players with 19 points. She was joined in double-figures by teammates Boyles (18 points), Hoppel (17 points), Burton (12 points) and Hampton (12 points). LCU connected on 10 three-pointers (10-of-30) to mark the second consecutive game in which they made at least 10 three-pointers (fifth time this season). The Lady Chaps were 84.6% from the line this season, converting on 22-of-26 free-throws. It is the ninth time this season they have made more than 20 free-throws in a game (they have now done it in five of the last six games). UAFS produced four players with double figures offensively. Blandine N’Goran was 8-of-14 from the field and scored 17 points to lead their squad. They also received 14 points from Maddy Backus, and 10 points each from Justyne Huber and Terry. Huber scored all 10 of her points in the second half.
LCU improves to 19-1 overall and 14-0 in the Heartland Conference. The win matches a 17-game win streak from the 2011-2012 season. UAFS fell to 6-14 overall and 6-8 in the conference. LCU will remain home and will seek to set a program win streak record Saturday, as they host Oklahoma Christian University at 1 p.m.