Owls Remain Perfect with Win Over No. 20 Avila
FULTON, MO -- Although head coach Dan Chapla was somewhat surprised by his team's debut at no. 23 in the NAIA Preseason Coaches' Poll, the William Woods University women's basketball team has certainly lived up to expectations, knocking off no. 20 Avila University 63-49 on Tuesday night to keep its perfect start to the season intact. Priscila Santos led the scoring for the Owls with 14 points on the night.
The game got off to a bit of a slow start, as it was tied 4-4 with just under four minutes elapsed. Avila tried to break the game open with a quick 7-2 spurt, with former Owl Michaela Brinkley knocking in five of the seven Eagle points in the run.
WWU was able to respond, however, with Stephanie Copelin sparking an 8-0 run that took the Owls from 6-11 down to 14-11 up over a span of 2:58. And even though Avila was able to halt the run for a few moments, William Woods would pull away, taking a 36-26 lead into the half.
The Eagles knocked down an early bucket on their first possession of the half, but back-to-back baskets from Olivia Storjohann and Katie Scherder took the Owls back to a double-digit lead.
Avila tried to hang around, but Destanie Stensrud was able to drive the final nail home with about 10 minutes left in the game. The sophomore found a wide open Santos for a bucket to push the Owls lead to 13, and even though Avila was able to respond with a bucket, she would calmly sink a second-chance trey on WWU's next possession to push the Owls lead to 52-38.
The Owls finished the game hitting at a .350 pace from the floor, holding Avila to a .340 mark. WWU controlled the glass on the evening, finishing with a 43-38 overall edge and a 19-13 margin on the offensive boards. Storjohann (13) and Stensrud (11) finished in double digits for WWU, with Storjohann coming up just shy of a double-double as she led the Owls with eight rebounds. Rebekah Kapeder led Avila with nine points, with Cassie Bruner pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.
With the win, William Woods moves to 3-0 on the season, while Avila falls to 0-3. The Owls hit the road this weekend, battling Evangel University on Friday, November 16 in Springfield, Missouri. Tipoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.