Middleton’s career high 26 points help No. 9 Lubbock Christian top Eastern New Mexico

KLBK Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas (February 8, 2019) – This is a press release from Lubbock Christian athletics.

Emma Middleton made her first eight shot attempts, leading to a career-high 26-point performance, and it led No.9 Lubbock Christian University to a commanding 77-53 Lone Star Conference divisional win over Eastern New Mexico Saturday inside Rip Griffin Center.

Middleton had 16 points in the opening half of play, with 12 netted in the second quarter of play. She heated up as the Lady Chaps offense as a whole heated up. LCU and ENMU combined four field goals through nearly the entire first quarter, as LCU led 10-6 with three seconds remaining in the opening quarter. Middleton had a layup with three seconds left in the frame (LCU led 12-6 after a quarter in the books), and it started a sequence of six consecutive made field goals by the Lady Chaps. A majority of the sequence was unnoticed until two minutes into the quarter, as LCU, leading 14-12, had a Caitlyn Cunyus three-pointer to start a 15-4 run for a 29-16 lead (4:19 remained in the half). ENMU responded with back-to-back three-pointers by Rowe for an 8-0 run to cut LCU’s lead to 29-24 with 2:34 left in the second quarter.

LCU closed the final 2:16 of the first half with an 8-0 run and six of the points were from Middleton to give LCU a 37-24 halftime lead. LCU was 9-of-13 (69.2%) from the field in the second quarter.

The halftime break was no interruption for Middleton, who scored eight of the next 10 LCU points, as the 10-0 LCU run to start the second half combined for an 18-0 run (carrying over from the first half) and LCU led 47-24. Adding to the run, the 18-0 run was part of a 24-1 stretch, as Maddi Chitsey and Allie Schulte each knocked down a three-pointer to push the lead to 53-25. ENMU missed seven straight field goal attempts to start the second half and could not recover from LCU’s run (they were 2-of-14 over the same stretch).

LCU took a 57-33 lead into the fourth quarter. Ashton Duncan hit consecutive three-pointers for LCU to highlight an 8-0 run in the quarter. LCU’s lead in the quarter was built up to a game-high 73-43 (30-point) following a layup by Cunyus with 3:36 remaining. A 10-2 ENMU run ensued before the horn sounded.

The Lady Chaps shot 53.7% (29/54) from the field and Middleton was 9-of-11 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line. Her 26 points topped a prior career-high of 16 points (also against ENMU in Portales, N.M. this season) and it is the highest single-game mark by a Lady Chap this season. It is the Lady Chaps highest individual scoring mark since Chitsey posted 28 points last season in the Elite Eight Tournament against North Georgia (Mar. 26, 2018) off 11-of-12 shooting (program single-game tying-high mark with at least 10 shot attempts).

Along with Middleton’s mark, LCU also received 10 points Allie Schulte. Cunyus was a vital part of Saturday’s offense, dishing out eight assists (one shy of matching a career high).

ENMU outscored LCU 13-5 in second-chance-scoring despite LCU out-rebounding ENMU 27-24. The Greyhounds were held to a 29.8% shooting mark (17/57) from the field. Natalie Stice led ENMU with 10 points and was ENMU’s only player in double figures (in points). Zamorye Cox, who had 29 in the prior meeting, was held to six points Saturday.

The Greyhounds fell to 16-6 overall, 10-6 in conference and 5-5 in the division. LCU improved to 19-3 overall, 13-3 in conference and 6-2 in the division. West Texas A&M defeated Angelo State to clinch the division.

TURNING POINT
Emma Middleton hijacked the game late in the first half. LCU went on an 18-0 scoring run and Middleton had 14 of the 18 points in the run. Her 14 points came in a six-minute span.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
LCU’s 53.7% shooting from the field marked a third consecutive game in which LCU shot at least 50% from the field, matching a feat they accomplished in the final three games of last season (at the Elite Eight Tournament). LCU has not had four consecutive games in which they shot at least 50% since February of the 2015-16 championship season.

WHAT’S NEXT
LCU heads to the northeast extremes of the conference border, heading to Fort Smith, Ark. Thursday to face former Heartland Conference foe Arkansas – Fort Smith.

This was a press release from Lubbock Christian athletics.

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