LUBBOCK, Texas (December 7, 2017) – The story was nearly a carbon copy… The only difference was the teams. In the previous meeting between Lubbock Christian University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University, which was on Dec. 10, 2016 in Weatherford, Okla., SWOSU hit 15 three-pointers (the most ever allowed by LCU) and defeated LCU 90-63. Thursday night inside Rip Griffin Center, LCU returned the favor, hitting 15 three-pointers and receiving 25 points, six three-pointers and seven blocks from Tess Bruffey to lead No.5/6 LCU to a 95-65 win over No.14/19 SWOSU. LCU became the 16th team in NCAA Division II history to hit 40 consecutive home wins with the victory.
There were several minor storylines that played out, which drew similarities to their 2016 meeting. In the opening quarter of the 2016 clash, SWOSU’s Hailey Tucker hit five three-pointers (on six attempts) and registered 17 points in the quarter to give SWOSU a 26-9 lead at the end of the quarter. In Thursday’s edition, it was Bruffey taking the first quarter spotlight with 15 points in the quarter and hitting her career high mark in three-pointers with four in the quarter. LCU was able to generate an 8-0 run in the quarter, while SWOSU opened the game 1-of-10 and 3-of-18 from the field, to provide the Lady Chaparrals a 27-13 lead at the end of the quarter. LCU made six three-pointers during a 7-of-12 shooting stretch in the quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs tried to wither the storm of the LCU offense and attempted to respond with a nice scoring stretch that included a 7-of-8 shooting stretch (the stretch was part of a 9-of-12 and eventual 15-of-22 shooting mark from the field). The Bulldogs could do no better than a 12-5 run behind the hot shooting. It was able to cut the LCU lead to 36-28 (3:47 remaining in the second quarter), but LCU answered late in the first half with a 7-0 run spearheaded by a Bruffey three-pointer. Tucker was able to bounce back from opening the game missing her first four attempts with seven points in the second quarter for SWOSU, who shot 72.7% (8/11) in the quarter. LCU led 43-32 at the half behind an 18-point half from Bruffey, who was 6-of-7 from the field (5-of-6 from three-point range) in the half.
SWOSU had an early stretch of 6-of-8 shooting in the second half, and Tyra Aska hit one of three field goals in the quarter with 5:31 remaining in the quarter to cut LCU’s lead to 58-45. The Lady Bulldogs, who cut the margin to 10 points on two prior occasions in the half, ran out of gas trying to trade blows with LCU. As SWOSU was hitting their offensive stride, LCU was a touch better with an 8-of-9 shooting stretch in the third quarter. LCU was 11-of-19 (57.9%) from the field in the quarter, with a 12-0 run following Aska’s bucket with 5:31 left in the quarter resulting in a 70-45 lead. Bobby Chitsey led LCU in the quarter with seven points and LCU took a 72-51 lead into the final quarter.
LCU was 57.9% (11/19) from the field in the third quarter and followed going 54.5% (6-of-11) from the field in the fourth quarter. SWOSU hit a bump going 0-of-8 from the field during a 4:09 span without a field goal. LCU was able to go on a 14-4 to put the game out of reach during SWOSU’s dry spell.
The Lady Chaps were 50.8% (30/59) shooting in the game and went 15-of-30 (50%) from long range. Eight different Lady Chaps popped the “three,” and their season high mark of 15 was the most since they posted their program record 18 on Feb. 18, 2017 against Oklahoma Panhandle State. The Lady Chaps matched a season high with 13 blocked shots. Six different Lady Chaps played into the count, including two by Maddi Chitsey and seven from Bruffey. Joining Bruffey, who matched a season high with 25 points, in double figures was Maddi Chitsey (17 points), Bobbi Chitsey (13 points) and Caitlyn Cunyus (10 points). LCU assisted on 23 of 30 field goals, with Delaney Gaddis producing a season high seven assists. The game marked the second time in their LCU careers in which both Chitsey sisters posted at least 10 points in a game and the first at home. Both instances have come against a nationally ranked opponent.
Tucker led SWOSU with 17 points, and they also received 13 points from Tyra Aska and 12 points from Penina Faumui. The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season and move to 8-1 on the season.
LCU is now 10-1 on the season, with the win marking their fourth straight overall. They are now 3-2 all-time aginst SWOSU, who was making their first ever visit to LCU. In the five all-time meetings, the average win margin is 25.8 points.
Bethany Franks was a key member early in the game for SWOSU, with five rebounds (four offensive) and a trio of points from the free-throw line in a span of seven minutes. She collected a second foul with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter and only played 29 seconds over the game’s remainder. Another turning point in the game was LCU’s 12-0 third quarter while the Lady Bulldogs were in a shooting slump.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
SWOSU entered the game averaging 20.7 points per game from the free-throw line. Thursday, they were held to season lows of nine points on a season low 15 attempts. They had not previously made less than 16 free-throws or had less than 24 attempts this season… LCU scored 29 points in the third quarter Thursday. The offensive surge was the highest scoring quarter this season for LCU and the most since they posted 30 at Oklahoma Christian in the second quarter on Jan. 21, 2017. LCU had not tallied 29 points in a quarter at home since they scored 30 points against West Texas A&M on Mar. 13, 2016, which also marks the last time a ranked team played LCU inside Rip Griffin Center.
LCU’s four-game homestand concludes Saturday, Dec. 16, with Cameron coming to Rip Griffin Center for a 1 p.m. tip.