TULSA, Okla. (March 3, 2016) – It was a game of milestones for top ranked and top seeded Lubbock Christian University Thursday afternoon in their first ever Heartland Conference postseason contest. The Lady Chaparrals received their 39th career double-double from Nicole Hampton (13 points, 10 rebounds) and LCU opened play at the Heartland Conference Tournament with a 79-33 win over Texas-Permian Basin at John Q. Hammons Arena (UMAC). The win advances LCU from the Quarterfinals and places them into Saturday's Semifinals to face St. Mary's at noon.
Hampton hit a series of milestones early in the game, putting up her 1,000th career field goal attempt on her first shot of the game and also notching her 300th career steal on the first of five steals she recorded in the first half. She had six field goals in the game and her third moved her into fourth on LCU's career field goals list (moved past Carol Hise, who had 540 from 1990-94). Kelsey Hoppel connected on a pair of three pointers and sits with 73 on the season, which ranks as the fourth best single-season mark in program history and is two away from having the single-season program record.
The Lady Chaps had trouble getting into gear to start the game, falling behind 2-0 and being kept off the scoreboard for the first two minutes of the game. Once they did get on the scoreboard (Tess Bruffey layup), it was trouble for the Falcons. LCU went on an 11-0 run and led 11-2 with 5:54 remaining in the opening quarter. Six different Lady Chaps had at least a field goal in the opening quarter, including Blair Taylor, whose layup at the horn put LCU up 20-8 heading into the second quarter.
LCU's defense was solid in the second quarter. UTPB was held off the scoreboard for the first 5:17 of the quarter, going 0-of-5 from the field and committing five turnovers. They finished the quarter 2-of-9 (22.2%) from the field. LCU did go a span of 3:33 without a field goal (0-for-6 during the stretch), but were only outscored 4-1 during the dry spell. Led by a 10-point first half from Hoppel, LCU outscored UTPB 18-6 in the second quarter for a 38-14 halftime lead.
The Lady Chaps held UTPB under 10 points again in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Hampton had nine of her 13 points in the third quarter. LCU used a 13-3 run in the quarter and outscored UTPB 24-8 for a 62-22 lead to head into the fourth quarter.
Haley Fowler led LCU with five points in the fourth quarter, and Allison Szabo added four points to place both in double figures with 10 points. Niniva Taito scored all of UTPB's 11 points in the quarter and finished with a game-high 16 points.
LCU was 56.3% (27/48) from inside the arc in the game (49.3% overall from the field) and it led to a 52-6 scoring advantage in the paint for LCU. The Lady Chaps had a 20-10 advantage in turnovers and it led to a 24-4 advantage in points off turnovers. LCU produced 23 assists, with Hampton leading with six.Kellyn Schneider had eight points, eight rebounds and a game high five blocks (LCU had nine as a team).
The Lady Chaps were playing in their first postseason tournament game since the 2012 Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament title game on Mar. 2, 2012. They improve their record to 27-0 on the season. UTPB, now winless in 18 all-time meetings verses LCU, has their season end at 6-22. The game was UTPB's final game as Heartland Conference members (join the Lone Star Conference next season).
UTPB was scoreless for a span of 9:17 in the first half while LCU went on a 17-0 run.
STAT OF THE GAME
Seven Lady Chaps scored at least seven points in the game, but no one had more than 13 points.