Posted: Jan 18, 2013 10:52 AM
FAYETTE, MO -- No. 22 Central Methodist turned a Green Out on Thursday night into a white wash with an 86-73 victory over Culver-Stockton in Heart of America Athletic Conference women's basketball action inside Puckett Fieldhouse.
The Eagles (17-2, 6-2 HAAC) jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first 3:08 with all 11 points coming unanswered. Central Methodist's Raylyn Nuss, the sixth leading three-point shooter in the country, buried a trey to cap and push the margin to nine points.
The Wildcats (8-10, 3-5 HAAC) answered with a 14-4 spurt, and Daja DeHayward's five straight points put the visitors back in front 16-15 midway through the first half. A back-and-forth affair ensued down the stretch, with Central Methodist's lead no larger than six points. However, it was Culver-Stockton's tandem of Mimi Reaves and DeHayward scoring the final four points of the first half to give their team a 34-30 upper hand at the break.
The Green and Black trailed 38-37 four minutes into the second half when Brittney Hotsenpiller canned a trey as part of a 10-0 run that put the Eagles ahead for good. The shot was Hotsenpiller's only bucket of the game, but her three shifted the momentum completely in favor of Central Methodist. The Eagles outscored the Wildcats 37-12 in the span of 10 minutes in the second half as the advantage swelled to as many as 24 points, 74-50, following a Kyra Williams' free throw with 6:06 to play.
Nuss finished with a team-leading 17 points and was 5-of-6 from behind the arc to go along with a game-high five assists. Britney Joseph poured in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Williams and Towanda Sutton added 14 points.
Reaves, who entered Thursday as the leading scorer in the conference, tallied 20 points but was only 6-of-18 from the floor and 3-of-10 from distance. DeHayward had 17 points. Shelsey Stanley and Randi Lee Plunkett scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Both teams hit nine three-pointers in the game, but Central Methodist shot 56.5 percent (26-of-46), including 75 percent (15-of-20) in the final 20 minutes, from the field compared to only 36.1 percent (26-of-72) by the Wildcats. The Eagles were a perfect 6-of-6 from three-point range in the second half.
Central Methodist also dominated the game at the free throw line, hitting 25-of-33. Culver-Stockton attempted only 16 free throws, making 12.
The Green and Black won the battle on the boards 42-29, including 36-17 on the defensive glass.
Central Methodist travels to Baker (Kan.) on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. CT.