Posted: Jan 4, 2013 9:38 AM
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Behind a stellar second-half shooting performance, the William Woods University women's basketball team rolled to an 88-67 win over Benedictine University at Springfield in the American Midwest Conference opener for both teams. Priscila Santos was one of four Owls in double figures on the night, leading all scorers with 20.
For the first time this year, head coach Dan Chapla was forced to switch up his starting lineup, but it didn't seem to have much impact. After giving up the opening basket, the Owls reeled off an 11-1 run over the first 3:23.
The Bulldogs were able to respond with a 6-1 spurt of their own to close within a 12-9 margin with 14:46 to play, but a Blake French layup opened a seven-point stretch that pushed William Woods back out to a 10-point lead.
The Owls held BU-S at arm's length for the rest of the half, taking a 39-30 lead into the break.
William Woods put the game out of reach early in the second half, hitting six of its first seven shots in the stanza and adding a pair of free throws as part of a 15-8 run over the first four minutes.
The run put the Owls in front 54-38 with 16:08 to play, and they continued to pull away, opening a 61-41 lead with 13:25 to go. The Bulldogs were never able to pull closer than 17 points down the stretch.
WWU moves to 10-1 on the year and starts AMC play 1-0. In addition to Santos' 20-point outing, Stephanie Copelin chipped in 12 points and Destani Stensrud and Julia Wells added 10 each.
Jerrica Walls and Brittany Rush each scored 18 for Benedictine University at Springfield, who falls to 3-8 (0-1 AMC) on the year. Alexandria Barnett added 17, with Shaynell Jackson earning a double-double with 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
WWU hit at a .633 pace in the second half to close the game with a .507 shooting percentage and racked six of 16 attempts from three-point range for a .375 mark. The Owls held the Bulldogs to a .358 mark from the floor on the night, and owned a 50-36 edge on the glass as well.
The Owls return to Anderson Arena on Saturday night to take on Harris-Stowe State University. Tipoff for Saturday's game is set for 2 p.m., with admission free as part of Community Night.