Lubbock Christian's Kelsey Hoppel had a game-high 22 points as the No. 4-ranked Lady Chaps used a dominant first-half performance to dispatch of St. Gregory's 84-61 Thursday inside Lubbock Christian's Ripp Griffin Center. Hoppel had a near perfect shooting night, going 8 of 8 from the floor, including 4 of 4 from three-point range. Her only miss came from the free throw line.
The game was played in stark contrast to the January 5 meeting between the two teams in Shawnee. LCU, ranked No. 1 at the time, was held to its worst shooting performance of the season and needed a late run to dispatch of the Cavs.
This time, however, the Lady Chaps never trailed in building a big first-half lead. LCU shot 46 percent from the field, including 55 percent before halftime, in improving to 22-2 overall and 9-2 in the SAC. The Lady Chaps had four players in double figures.
SGU (9-15, 2-8 SAC) was plagued by poor shooting and turnovers. The Cavs finished at 39 percent from the floor and were forced into 22 miscues. SGU was only 8 of 31 from beyond the arc.
Junior Kalie Lucas led her team with 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting, coming one point shy of the career high she set Saturday at John Brown. Leticia Silva was the only other SGU player in double figures, finishing with 12 points and six boards.
The Cavs turned the ball over nine times in the game's first six minutes and fell behind 15-3 early. It was 21-12 with 9:49 left in the half when the Lady Chaps capped an 11-0 run with a Haley Fowler three to go up 20 with just more than seven minutes remaining.
LCU led 50-26 at halftime after hitting 18 of its 33 shots, including 83 percent (5 of 6) from three-point range. Hoppel led all scorers with 15 points on a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor. SGU turned the ball over 18 times in the first 20 minutes and shot 39 percent from the field.
The lead swelled to 26 a minute into the second half before the Cavs used a 7-0 spurt to cut it to 54-35 with 15:48 to go. But a 10-2 LCU response over the next 3:26 put the home team back up by 27 and squashed any hopes of an SGU comeback. The Cavs got no closer than 20 the rest of the way.
SGU wraps up its West Texas road trip Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest in Plainview against Wayland Baptist.