CMU Women's Strong Second Half Secures Win vs. Avila
KANSAS CITY - Central Methodist outscored Avila (Mo.) 56-32 in the final 20 minutes to pull away for an 87-61 Heart of America Athletic Conference women's basketball win on Saturday in Mabee Fieldhouse. The win was the second in a row for Central Methodist (20-5, 9-5 HAAC), who pick up their 20th win in a season for the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign.
Central Methodist raced out to a 20-9 advantage following a Sammie Gathercole trey midway through the first half. Avila (5-17, 4-10 HAAC) used six three-pointers in the first 20 minutes to get back into the contest. Back-to-back treys by Jessica Smith gave Avila a 26-22 advantage before a late 11-1 run by the visitors, spurred by Jasmine Poteete, made the score 31-29 in favor of Central Methodist at the break.
Leading by two points 1:13 into the second half, Central Methodist outscored Avila 20-8 to blow the game open. Consecutive steals by Poteete led to fastbreak layups, putting the Green and Black ahead 53-39 with 12:30 to go.
Already leading by 12 points, 64-52, a Nuss bucket from distance was the start of 19 unanswered points by Central Methodist. The Green and Black ratcheted up the HAAC's top defense, holding Avila scoreless for five minutes. A Kyra Williams jumper in the paint stretched Central Methodist's advantage to its largest of the game at 31 points, 83-52, with 2:47 on the clock.
Taylor Cornelison's 14 points led five Central Methodist double figure scorers. Cornelison tallied 12 in the second half. Nuss and Poteete finished with 12 apiece. Gathercole had 11. Poteete also netted a game-high five steals.
With 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Britney Joseph posted her second consecutive and sixth double-double of the season. Saturday's performance marked Joseph's 14th game of 2012-13 with 10 or more rebounds.
Nakia Robinson added nine points for Central Methodist, which shot 48.4 percent (31-of-64) from the floor and drilled nine three-pointers.
Avila's Rebekah Capeder led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Smith had 17 in the losing effort.
Central Methodist, the top rebounding squad in the league, dominated the paint on Saturday, out-rebounding Avila 45-28 overall, 16-9 on the offensive glass and outscoring the home team 44-14. The Green and Black turned 23 Avila turnovers into 25 points, while Avila managed only six points off 14 Central Methodist miscues. Central Methodist also outscored Avila 12-0 on the fastbreak.
Central Methodist travels to archrival Missouri Valley on Thursday, Feb. 14. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. CT.