The BJU Bruins women’s basketball team secured a first-half lead to win 51-34 over Piedmont International University. Freshman forward Kendra Jeffcott led BJU with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and fellow teammate sophomore forward Kourtney Hoefler added 12 points and 15 rebounds in a team effort that left the BJU Bruins on top.

BJU led 27-11 at halftime, despite the efforts of PIU guard Emily Buffaloe. With five points and three assists, Buffaloe had a hand in all 11 of her team’s points before the break.

“[PIU] plays very well to their strengths,” BJU coach Mike LeViere said. “Emily Buffaloe is a good player, and she controls the game for them really well.”

PIU went on a 17-6 run to start the second half and came within seven points before BJU managed to pull away.

“I was never really comfortable,” coach LeViere said after the win. “[PIU] plays hard for having few players,” he said, adding that his team was eventually able to make some shots and settle down on offense.

“I think we just kind of focused,” sophomore guard Trisha Irving said of her teammates’ response to PIU’s attack in the second half. “We focused on being controlled and doing what we [could].”

Coach LeViere credited Irving with contributing in ways that didn’t show up in the stat sheet. “We’re working with her on managing the game, and she [had] a good assist-to-turnover ratio tonight,” he said. “Even though she doesn’t have a ton of points, she’s a good floor manager for us and did a much improved job tonight handling that.”

Irving said her biggest desire is to make her teammates better. “Learning what my role­ is—that’s the biggest thing I’m learning [this season].”