Dominant First Half Propels Owls to Win
FULTON, MO -- After moving up to no. 19 in the NAIA Women's Basketball Division I Coaches' Poll earlier in the day, the William Woods University women's basketball team proved why it belongs there with a stifling 59-44 win over Lindenwood University-Belleville on Tuesday night. The Owls held the Lynx to just 8-of-30 shooting in the first half as they built a 35-17 lead.
The Owls leapt out to an early 6-0 lead, scoring on each of their first three possessions, but Lindenwood-Belleville was able to answer back with five points from Stephanie Cathcart and a layup from Bernie Brown to take a 7-6 lead with 14:09 to play.
It would be the only time William Woods trailed in the contest, as Ashlee Taylor answered with a three-pointer off the assist from Priscila Santos on WWU's next trip down the floor. The Owls continued to pull away, edging out to a 22-13 lead with 9:05 left in the half.
After the teams traded missed chances, Lindenwood-Belleville was able to get a bucket at the 8:19 mark from Taylor James to close the margin to seven, but the Owl defense clamped down, holding the Lynx scoreless for more than six minutes.
WWU comfortably held onto its lead through the second half, only allowing Lindenwood-Belleville within 15 points as head coach Dan Chapla cleared his bench with five minutes to play.
William Woods moves to 6-1 on the year, and finished the game hitting at a .344 pace. The Owls were a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line in the first half, finishing at a .737 clip. The Owls also held a comfortable edge on the boards, pulling down 50 rebounds (18-32) to just 41 (15-36) for the Lynx. Taylor led all scorers on the night with 15, with Katie Scherder and Paige Stewart each hauling down seven boards.
Cathcart led the Lynx with 12 points and nine rebounds, with James adding 11. Lindenwood-Belleville shot at a .286 pace for the game as they dropped to 7-7 on the year.
The Owls hit the road for their next three games, with Haskell Indian Nations University set as the next foe for WWU. Tipoff for Friday's game in Lawrence is set for 6 p.m.