The Mid-America Christian University Lady Evangels stayed close with the No. 1-ranked Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaps much of the way, but the top-ranked Chaps eventually pulled away in the second half for a 71-57 win in Sooner Athletic Conference action Thursday evening (Jan. 31) inside the Gaulke Activity Center.
Leading by 10 at the half, the Lady Chaps methodically put distance between themselves and the Lady Evangels when a three-point play by Emily Atkins put the finishing touches on an 11-1 run that stretched the lead to 59-36 at the 7:19 mark of the second half.
LCU's largest lead came on a score from Courtney Wilson that made it 67-43 with 3:50 remaining.
The Lady Evangels wouldn't quit though and ended the game on a 14-4 run as Kelsie Dutton hit a three and then a jumper as time expired that brought MACU to within the final 14-point margin.
The Lady Evangels gave LCU everything it wanted for most of the first half, as Emilie Schirmer nailed a straight-on that tied the score at 13-13 at the 12:30 mark.
After five straight from Kelsey Hoppel capped a 9-0 spurt that pulled the Lady Chaps out to a nine-point edge, the Lady Evangels had a quick response when Dutton started a 9-0 spurt of their own with a three-point play that created another gridlock of 25-25 with 5:18 left until halftime.
LCU then gained some breathing room by outscoring the Lady Evangels 12-2 over the final five minutes of the half to take a double-digit lead of 37-27 that equaled their biggest advantage of the opening half.
Kourtni Williams kept her double-figure scoring streak alive with 19 points. She has scored in double-digits every game so far this season. Dutton also reached double-figures with a career-high 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Emilie Schirmer led the Lady Evangels with seven rebounds, while Parris Price recorded a team-best four assists.
Atkins led all scorers with a game-high 22 points and Nicole Hampton tallied 13 points with a game-high 12 boards. Wilson scored 14 and Hoppel chipped in with 12.
The Lady Evangels held their own on the boards, only being out-rebounded 36-34 overall, but couldn't overcome 22 turnovers and a 34 percent (17-of-50) shooting clip.
MACU will remain at home and host Wayland Baptist University on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 2) at 1 p.m.