The Bruins women’s basketball team defeated the Pensacola Christian College Eagles last Friday night in the Davis Field House with a double-digit victory, 58-41.
The game was the first home game for students since the semester began, and Bruins fans poured into the gym. BJU had a 13-5 record coming into the game and added another win to their record, leaving Pensacola’s record at 11-8.
Both teams started out slowly and had difficulty scoring for the first part of the half. Turnovers and poor rebounding contributed to the Bruins’ slow start. In the middle of the half, Bruins senior Kim Spiecker sank a 3-pointer, raising the intensity of the game. Junior Kourtney Hoefler began to dominate the rebounds and earned 16 for the whole game.
The Bruins Nation in the stands was key in lifting the Bruins women’s spirits throughout the game, as shots began sinking into the net for the Bruins. BJU led 24-17 with less than four minutes to go in the half, but the Eagles fired up and slowly caught up to BJU. At the break the scoreboard read 26-23, with BJU up by only three points.
“Things started out really disconnected,” Spiecker said. “But we went into the locker room, and when we came back out for the second half we were ready to clean up. We did way better.”
The halftime rest and talk from Coach Mike LeViere kept the Bruins going. Right off the bat the Bruins stepped up their game and were determined to add another win to their record. Senior Trisha Irving swished a shot at the top of the key to set the pace for the rest of the game, and the Bruins lit up the boards for the entire second half. Spiecker finished with three 3-pointers, and sophomore Hannah Tompkins added two more 3-pointers as BJU defeated Pensacola 58-41.
The leading scorer for BJU was Kim Spiecker with 19 points, followed by Hoefler with 16 points. The Bruins were 10 of 14 at the free-throw line and worked together as a team to ensure this win.
“The posts were definitely a big help,” Hoefler said. “And the whole team effort of rebounding really helped. [Next game] we need to take better care of the ball, value it more, and make better decisions.”
Good coaching from Coach LeViere was essential for a victory over the Eagles. “[The Eagles] played a really good man-to-man defense with not a lot of pressure, and we were able to take advantage of that by either driving or taking the outside shot,” LeViere said. “I really felt like defensively we were going to [need to] change things up, different defenses from time to time to throw them off.” To ensure a big victory for the games to come, Coach LeViere said, “Our defense will ride us to a double-digit victory when we really play [badly] on offense. As long as we play good defense, we’ll be in the game.”
BJU will play Pensacola once again tomorrow in Florida.