Second Half Surge Gives Owls Win Over Pirates
PARKVILLE, MO -- Olivia Storjohann was a perfect 4-for-4 for nine points from the floor in the first half and Priscila Santos added a dozen in the second half as the William Woods University women's basketball team overcame a two-point halftime deficit for a 59-46 win over Park University on Thursday night. The Owls moved to 5-1 in American Midwest Conference play with the win and are 14-2 overall.
Despite hitting just three of its first seven attempts from the floor, Park was able to move out to an early 8-2 lead as the Owls turned the ball over four times in the first 4:14 of the contest.
William Woods fired off seven straight points to take a 9-8 lead with 13:25 left in the half before a short dry spell hit both teams. Santos added a jumper from just inside the free throw line to push WWU's lead to three with 10:51 on the clock.
Down the stretch, the teams traded the lead five more times, with the Pirates going into the locker room with a 25-23 advantage.
Out of the break, William Woods launched into a 16-7 run, capped by back-to-back three-pointers from Blake French and Katie Scherder to take a 39-32 lead with 12:06 to play.
After a pair of back-to-back buckets from Santos pushed WWU's lead to nine, the Pirates were able to answer with an 8-0 run buoyed by a pair of unexpected makes from outside to close the margin to 43-42 with 9:01 on the clock.
Destani Stensrud drained a trey with 8:45 on the clock to halt the spurt, then found a wide-open Santos for a layup on the break to push the Owls' margin back to six. The Pirates again tried to close the gap, but were only able to pull as close as two before a 5-0 run by French stretched WWU's lead back to 53-46 with 5:33 to play.
The Owls pushed their margin to 11 after escaping a shot clock violation with just over two minutes left, as Park's Christy Saldana deflected a pass out of bounds with 2:14 on the game clock and four on the shot clock. Stensrud fired up a desperate trey on the inbounds, but her miss fell into a crowd of three Owls, with Santos recovering the ball and handing off to Storjohann for the easy bucket. A pair of Stensrud free throws down the stretch would set the final margin.
William Woods outshot the Pirates from the floor by a .386-.310 margin, with both teams hitting at a .333 pace from beyond the arc. The Owls missed on just one of their 10 trips to the line in a very clean game, with Park shooting 5-of-7 from the stripe. WWU dominated the glass, with a 42-33 edge on the night paced by 11 grabs from Scherder.
Santos led all scorers in the game with 16 points, with Storjohann chipping in 11. Park saw three scorers in double figures with Joanna Matthews and Jessica Madsen each knocking in a dozen. Brianna Beridon added 11 on the night for the Pirates, who fell to 2-4 in league play and 5-10 overall.
The Owls return home for a two-game AMC home stand, welcoming Stephens College to Anderson Arena on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff for the game is set for 2 p.m.