Posted: Jan 10, 2013 9:57 PM
HANNIBAL, MO -- In a matchup of two teams unbeaten in American Midwest Conference play, the no. 16-ranked William Woods University women's basketball team easily dispatched Hannibal-LaGrange University on Thursday night, rolling out 85-48 winners. Sophomore Blake French led a sextet of Owls in double figures with a game-high 15 points. Katie Scherder knocked in a double-double (10 pts/11 reb.) on the night as well.
The game got off to a slow start as both teams struggled to find the range from the floor. William Woods connected on just two of its first five attempts from the floor, with Hannibal-LaGrange hitting two of 10 for a 4-4 tie with 15:44 on the clock.
WWU hit five straight buckets and six of its next seven shots from the floor to take control of the contest. A pair of Julia Wells free throws during the run helped the Owls to a 19-9 lead with 12:15 to go in the first half and the margin would not fall below 10 for the rest of the game.
The Lady Trojans began to find their shooting touch, but it was too little, too late as the Owls slowly pulled away, taking a 45-26 lead into the break.
Coming out of the locker room, the Owls connected on each of their first three shots of the half and held HLGU to 1-of-4 shooting over the first two minutes to stretch out a 54-28 lead.
With William Woods leading 65-35 with 12:10 to play, Hannibal-LaGrange put together a short spurt that had the makings of a comeback, as the Lady Trojans rattled off seven unanswered points over an 80-second span. The Owls would quash the comeback, however, with a French bucket capping a 7-2 run to put WWU back up 73-43 with 8:01 to play.
The Owls defense clamped down, however, allowing HLGU just five points over the final eight minutes as WWU moved to 3-0 in conference play and 12-1 overall. Hannibal-LaGrange fell to 9-6 on the year and 3-1 in league play.
WWU shot a scorching .577 in the second half, including a .625 pace from beyond the arc, to finish the game at a .517 pace. Defensively, the Owls held HLGU to just .284 shooting on the night, posting a .467-.182 edge from distance as well. William Woods controlled the glass as well, posting a 40-31 edge.
In addition to French and Scherder, four other Owls finished in double figures on the night. Priscila Santos added 14 points, with Wells and Stephanie Copelin (O'Fallon, Ill.) each chipping in a dozen. Olivia Storjohann added 10 points to round out the group.
Rebecca DeRidder and Maddy Cunningham each had nine points for the Lady Trojans, with Ashley Spencer and Morgan Winkler adding eight.
The Owls return to Anderson Arena for the first of two consecutive home games on Saturday, taking on Lyon College. Tipoff for the game, presented by Mid-City Lumber, is set for 2 p.m.