CMU Women's Basketball Downs Graceland
LAMONI, IA -- Central Methodist University forward Towanda Sutton scored a season-high 17 points as the 25th-ranked Eagles avenged last season's Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament loss with a 73-41 victory Thursday in the Closson Center.
Sutton was 8-of-10 from the field in the contest, including a perfect 6-of-6 in the first half, as the Green and Black returned to the court for the first regular-season game since Dec. 16.
Central Methodist (14-1, 3-1 HAAC) trailed 15-8 through the first six minutes before dominating the Yellowjackets (2-10, 0-4 HAAC) down the stretch of the first period, outscoring the home team 32-7. Sutton tied the game at 19-all with 10:13 to go in the first half, and a Brooke Paulsell trey 30 seconds later gave the Eagles the lead for good. Sutton scored 12 of her 17 points in the first 20 minutes, and Central Methodist took a 40-22 upper hand into intermission.
Kyra Williams gave the visitors a 43-22 advantage less than three minutes into the second half with a seven-foot jumper from the baseline. The Eagles' defense continued to suffocate Graceland throughout the second half, allowing only seven points in the first 8:30 of the period. A Raylyn Nuss behind the arc bucket with 9:25 remaining gave Central Methodist its first 30-point edge, 63-33. The second half lead for the Green and Black swelled to as many as 34 points, 69-35, following two free throws by Brittney Hotsenpiller.
Central Methodist's Taylor Cornelison contributed 14 points and seven rebounds in the win. Nuss kicked in 12 points, while Britney Joseph added a game-high 14 rebounds.
Jerica Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds for Graceland. Anna Belousova had 11 points.
The Eagles dominated the Yellowjackets on the boards by a margin of 61-36. Central Methodist also won the battle in the paint, outscoring Graceland 34-12. The Eagles' bench outscored the Yellowjackets' reserves 32-4.
Central Methodist shot 41.2-percent (28-of-68) from the field, including 47.2-percent (17-of-36) in the first half. The Eagles limited Graceland to 24.6-percent shooting (16-of-65) from the floor, including 4-of-20 (20-percent) from behind the arc.
The Eagles host Avila University for Free Admission Day on Saturday inside Puckett Field House. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT.
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