The Lady Bruins bounced back from a two-game losing streak with a big win on Tuesday night against Johnson and Wales University, defeating the Wildcats 76-52.

In the first quarter,  senior Maggi Ford started the game quickly with back-to-back buckets, and the Lady Bruins moved the ball well and found open shots. On the defensive end, they forced the Wildcats to take difficult shots. At the end of the first quarter, Bruins freshman Sarah Thomsen hit a three to give BJU a 17-11 advantage.

In the second quarter, the Lady Bruins held strong defensively. They forced several turnovers and allowed the Lady Wildcats to score only nine points. By halftime, the Lady Bruins had pushed their lead up to 41-20.

“The most encouraging thing was that we knew we really hadn’t clicked offensively yet, but we still had the lead [going into halftime],” Coach LeViere said. “We hadn’t played our best basketball, and so we knew we could play better. Our defense led to our offense and helped us build the lead.”

In the second half, the Wildcats tried to fight their way back into the game, but the Bruins’ suffocating defense prevented the Wildcats from making a serious run. Sha’Ron Brunson hit three shots from behind the arc in the second half, building the Bruins’ lead to 56-36 by the end of the third quarter.

The Bruins’ defense held fast throughout the fourth quarter, and BJU came away with a hard-fought 76-52 win.

“This win was really important for our team,” Ford said. “We met a lot as a group and then with coach coming into this game because we’d be frustrated in knowing we could play so much better. Tonight, I feel, will catapult us going forward to continue to play better.”

Ford led the Bruins with 20 points, Bhrianna Jackson had 13, Kendra Jeffcott scored 11 and Hannah Tompkins contributed 10.

The Lady Bruins also out-rebounded the Wildcats, and their defense forced a total of 24 turnovers for the night.

Next, the Lady Bruins will take on Mid-Atlantic Christian University Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Davis Field House.