The BJU Bruins women’s basketball team stormed red-hot into the new year with a 72-52 home win over rival Pensacola Christian College Friday night.
To begin the game, BJU’s junior guard Hannah Tompkins drained a three-point shot, but PCC countered quickly with a 9-0 run early in the game. Despite the early deficit, the home team responded with good energy on the defensive side of the ball, forcing six key turnovers in the first half. Although they shot only 25 percent in the first half, the Bruins were able to take a 10-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
As the second half started, the Bruins overcame their shooting woes and caught fire from the outside line. Six different Bruins hit three-point shots as they picked apart the PCC man-to-man defense. The Bruins improved their shot accuracy, shooting 52 percent in the second half. The Bruins hit a total of 13 3-point shots in the game.
Tompkins led the Bruins with 17 total points, including shooting 5-9 from behind the arc. She also recorded five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Junior guard Kendra Jeffcott added nine points and 13 rebounds, and junior forward Julia Wright added 11 points on the strength of the 3-point shot.
The team is beginning to gel and work together, as evidenced by Coach Mike LeViere’s comments after the game.
“The girls have come in prepared, and I think we are meshing really well,” LeViere said. “We played well and did a lot of little things right tonight and had players make baskets at big times tonight. I think we are maturing as a basketball team and taking advantage.”
The Bruins relied heavily on the 3-point shot for the game’s win. Out of the 53 total shots BJU recorded, 34 of them were from behind the arc. Out of the team’s 72 points, 58 came from either 3-point shots or free throws. Only 14 points were made from inside the paint.
In addition to solid scoring, the Lady Bruins also had outstanding energy on defense. BJU forced 12 turnovers and won the rebounding battle 41-30, including 16 offensive boards. This strong defensive effort should continue to lead the Lady Bruins as the postseason approaches.