Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Second Half Lifts Griffons Past Lady Tigers

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Griffon women’s basketball team outscored the Fort Hays State Lady Tigers 44-23 in the second half to come away with the 76-58 victory in St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon. Rachel Luteyn led the way collecting a double-double scoring a season high 21 points and collecting ten rebounds. Western improves to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in MIAA action.

The Griffons opened up the contest on fire hitting its first three shots with one being a three pointer from Lauren Nolke taking a 7-0 lead at the 17:54 mark of the game. The Lady Tigers responded nicely with a three point play by Rhys Pihl and a three pointer from Crista Bechard cutting the Griffon lead to 7-6 at the 14:37 mark of the half.

The Griffons took another seven point lead at 17-10 after a Colleen Schneider long range bomb with 10:29 to play. Fort Hays State went on a 10-2 run taking its first lead o the contest with 5:42 to play in the frame after a Kara Champlin layup. The Lady Tigers built its lead to four twice and were able to take a 35-32 lead into halftime.

The Lady Tigers outscored the Griffons 18 to seven off the bench and had eight second chance points to the Griffons two. Western out-rebounded the Lady Tigers 24 to 18 but turned the ball over nine times to Lady Tigers two.

Western made 4-of-11 long range shots with Nolke making all three of her attempts. Rachel Luteyn led the way with 10 points while Brenna Saline had six boards. Western had 11 assists on its 14 field goals in the frame. The Lady Tigers connected on 13-of-37 field goal attempts with Bechard leading the way with eight points.

The Lady Tigers extended its three point halftime lead to seven twice early in the second half at 39-32 and 40-33. Western responded nicely going on an 18-6 run to take at 51-46 lead with 11:15 to play after two Nolke free throws. Western continued to play well down the stretch closing on a 14-2 run in the final five minutes to claim the 18 point victory.

In the second half the Griffons had 16 points in the paint to go along with seven points off turnovers and 10 second chance points. Luteyn scored 11 points while Koch and Nolke each dumped in 10 points in the second half.

The Griffons shot 46.8-percent (29-62) from the field and made 8-of-21 long range shots. They out-rebounded the Lady Tigers 47 to 34 and had 20 assists and four blocks in the game. Western dominated the points in the paint outscoring the Lady Tigers 22 to 10.

Koch finished the game with a double-double scoring 12 points and collecting a season high 11 rebounds. Nolke tied a career best with five three point baskets on her way to 19 points while Schneider dumped in 12 points going 5-of-8 from the field.

The Lady Tigers were led by Champlin with 15 points and Bechard with 11. Fort Hays State shot just 30.8-percent (20-65) from the field and 8-of-32 from long range.

The Griffons will return home on Sunday, December 19 hosting the 4th ranked Washburn Lady Blues. Game time is set for 1:30 pm from the MWSU Fieldhouse.

Missouri Western State University (located in St. Joseph, Mo.) is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

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