In the home opener for the Bob Jones University women’s basketball team Tuesday night, the Bruins fell to the visiting Erskine College Flying Fleet 90-64. With this game, BJU fell to a 2-6 record overall while EC improved to 2-1 on the young season.
BJU was outplayed throughout the first half. The Bruins gave up several turnovers against Erskine’s early full-court press that led to easy buckets for the Flying Fleet. EC’s forward Andrienne Bannerman proved to be lethal as she connected on three shots beyond the perimeter and had 17 total points in just the first half. Bannerman provided many clutch baskets that negated any momentum the Bruins tried to create. Despite the outstanding shooting by Erskine, BJU fought valiantly and trailed by only 10 points heading into the break. Kendra Jeffcott led the Bruins with 14 points in the first half.
The second half was a different story, however, and Erskine pulled away quickly behind good zone defense and excellent free-throw shooting. With senior captain Kourtney Hoefler still sidelined with an injury, the Bruins were unable to find a consistent offense in the half-court. Most of their successes came when they fed the ball into the post or moved the ball quickly around the perimeter.
Erskine shot 43 percent from behind the arc and an outstanding 81 percent from the free-throw line. The Flying Fleet relied on a great performance by Bannerman and 16 points from point-guard Ashley Espinosa as the excellent shooting and 22 total Bruin turnovers became too much for BJU to overcome.
Despite the lopsided final score, Head Coach Mike LeViere was pleased with the effort he saw out of the Bruins. Obviously, there were a few aspects that LeViere wants to see improved before the team’s next contest. “Going into the next game we need to work on running our sets and really working on the half-court offense,” LeViere said. “[We really had] no continuity tonight.”
LeViere has mentioned the balance that BJU has this year in talent from the guards and wingers as well as several strong post players. The team does well at working the ball into the post to open up perimeter shots for the guards and at spreading out the zone defense. Unfortunately, this time turnovers and Erskine’s stellar shooting prevented the Bruins from staying in the game throughout the second half.
The Bruins’ next game is Saturday afternoon. They will take on Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia.