PORTALES, N.M. (December 30, 2017) – Despite five points from the field in the second half and their worst shooting performance in over six years, No. 4 Lubbock Christian University was able to get 19 points from Tess Bruffey and a season high 15 points from Olivia Robertson en route to a 64-55 nonconference road victory over Eastern New Mexico Saturday afternoon inside Greyhound Arena.
LCU scored more points from the free-throw line (34) than from the field (30) in the contest. The last time that happened was Nov. 5, 2011 against Metropolitan State at Rip Griffin Center. Saturday, LCU was held to a 13 field goals and a mark of 28.9% (13/45) shooting from the field, which are their lowest marks since nine field goals and a 20.9% shooting mark in that same Metro State contest in their 2011-2012 season opener. The difference was LCU lost to Metro State and won Saturday's contest. Despite the shooting lull, LCU out-shot ENMU, holding the Greyhounds to a 28.4% (19/67) shooting mark. LCU was able to right the ship with 34 points from the free-throw line off a 34-of-42 shooting mark from the charity stripe (81.0%). The 34 points from the line was the most by LCU since they made 35 free-throws on Jan. 19, 2012 against Rogers State. LCU was also able to keep their turnovers down, as they finished with 10 turnovers (second fewest in a game this season).
The Greyhounds were nearly able to overcome their shooting woes because of 18 offensive rebounds, which led to a 20-5 advantage in second-chance-scoring. The 20 second-chance-points is the highest allowed this season by LCU and the most since Arkansas – Fort Smith tallied 21 on Feb. 11, 2017. The offensive boards also led to ENMU attempting 22 more shot attempts. It is the second time an LCU opponent has had at least 20 more shot attempts than LCU, as Midwestern State had 27 more shot attempts, due to 26 offensive rebounds, on Nov. 25.
The poor shooting was not around in the opening quarter for LCU. LCU shot 45.5% (5-of-11) in the opening quarter. The two teams exchanged the lead six times in the opening quarter before LCU went on a 15-4 run during a 10-minute stretch three minutes into the game, which carried into the second quarter. ENMU went on an 0-for-16 shooting slump during the stretch.
After the 15-4 run, LCU closed out the game's remainder going 5-of-30 (16.7 %) from the field. Leading as much as 15 points (35-20) in the opening half, LCU led 35-22 before the shooting woes were magnified in the third quarter. LCU was 1-of-7 from the field in the third quarter. Their only field goal was a three-pointer by Bruffey. It was their fewest amount of field goals in a quarter since held to one field goal in the fourth quarter against Colorado State – Pueblo (1-of-12) on Nov. 10. ENMU was able to cut LCU's lead to three points on two occasions in the second half, but LCU's 22 points from the free-throw line in the second half, off 22-of-28 shooting, allowed them to keep their distance. ENMU had a stretch in which they were 1-of-11 from the field in the fourth quarter, as LCU's defense did their part to counter their lackluster shooting effort.
Bruffey missed a double-double by a rebound, as she finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Nine of her 19 points came from the line. Robertson was 9-of-10 from the free-throw line in her double-figure point performance. Mikaehla Connor led ENMU with 15 points and Daeshi McCants finished with 10 rebounds.
LCU improved to 12-1 with the win, while ENMU fell to 5-6. The game was LCU's second true road game this season (2-0) and it was their first out-of-state game this season (opened the season with a program record 12 consecutive games in-state). They improved to 13-24 all-time against ENMU, claiming their fifth straight win over the Greyhounds (LCU has won 10 of the last 12 meetings).
ENMU made consecutive baskets on two occasions during the game. Halfway through the third quarter, they made three consecutive field goals, with Kaylee Edgemon hitting a pair of consecutive three-pointers to cap a 9-4 run to cut LCU's lead to 41-38. LCU responded with a 5-0 run and out-scored ENMU 9-5 the remainder of the quarter for a 50-43 lead heading into the final quarter.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Saturday's contest marked LCU's final game of the 2017 calendar year. Their win over ENMU provided the Lady Chaps with a 26-5 record (83.9%) for all games played in 2017. LCU went 29-10 (74.4%) in 2016 and 24-4 (85.7%) in 2015.
Saturday was LCU's final nonconference contest of the season. They resume Heartland Conference play Thursday at home hosting Texas A&M International at 6 p.m. inside Rip Griffin Center.