Women's Basketball: LCU 86, Arkansas Fort Smith 46 (Radio Audio)

Women's Basketball: LCU 86, Arkansas Fort Smith 46 (Radio Audio)

           
Allie Schulte Allie Schulte

LUBBOCK, Texas (January 19, 2018) - Lubbock Christian University shot 69.2% from the field in the second half and received 46 points off the bench, as the Lady Chaps received a combined 27 points from Maddi (15 points) and Bobbi (12 points) Chitsey en route to an 86-46 Heartland Conference victory over Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) Saturday afternoon inside Rip Griffin Center. LCU's seventh straight victory was head coach Steve Gomez's 500th game coaching the Lady Chaparrals and they claimed their 59th consecutive home win, which actively leads NCAA Division II.

Maddi Chitsey nearly had a double-double in her 19 minutes of play. She led all scorers with 15 points and nearly completed a double-double with nine rebounds, a career-high five rebounds and three blocks. Nine of Chitsey's point total came in the third quarter, which is a quarter LCU was 9-of-14 (69.2%) from the field.

The Lady Chaps, starting the second half with a 37-17 lead, opened the second half with a field goal from Chitsey to cap an 8-0 run carried over from the second quarter. LCU went on a 15-3 run later the third quarter, which was filled with five points from Chitsey and closed with back-to-back three-pointers from Ashton Duncan to put LCU up 58-27 with 2:27 left in the third quarter.

Lubbock Christian was 71.4% (15/21) from the field over the final 15:49 of the game and they never missed more than two consecutive shot attempts over the stretch. They were 5-of-7 from three-point range in the span as well. The offensive surge led to LCU outscoring UAFS 41-22 in the stretch.

LCU's offensive numbers were not as impressive in the first half, but their defense allowed them to control the game early. UAFS opened the game 2-of-3 from the field, but then went a spell of 18:45 in which they were 5-of-28 (17.9%) from the field. UAFS was also forced into 12 turnovers in the opening half of play.

Maddi's older sister Bobbi Chitsey led LCU in the first half, posting all 12 of her game points in the half (eight in the opening quarter). The Lady Chaps used a 10-0 first quarter run for a 16-9 lead heading into the second quarter. They built the lead out-scoring UAFS 21-8 in the second quarter despite a stretch in which LCU was 4-of-15 (26.6%) from the field.

The Lady Chaps defense forced 19 turnovers and had 13 steals, which led to a 29-8 scoring advantage in points-off-turnovers. Allie Schulte led LCU with three steals. Four Lady Chaps finished in double figures in scoring. Bobbi Chitsey (12), Ashton Duncan (12) and Madelyn Turner (10) joined Maddi Chitsey in the balanced scoring effort. LCU was 54.1% from the field (33/61), topping 50% for a fifth time this season and for a second consecutive game. They were 10-of-23 (43.5%) from three-point range.

UAFS (5-12, 2-2) was led by Ellie Lehne, who finished with 14 points. The Lions were 32% (16/50) from the field in the contest, shooting 29.3% (12/41) inside the arc. The few bright spots for UAFS was their shooting at the free-throw line. After opening the game 1-of-3 from the free-throw line, the Lady Lions went 9-of-10 the rest of the way to finish 76.9% (10/13) from the charity stripe.

The Lady Chaps improved to 14-4 on the season and are 4-0 in Heartland Conference play. The win was their 51st straight conference win and they are 45-0 all-time in Heartland Conference games at home. They also improved to 11-1 all-time against UAFS (fourth straight win in the series) and are 6-0 all-time at home against UAFS (three of the six wins have been by margins of at least 40 points).

TURNING POINT
Head coach Steve Gomez opted to make a mass of substitutions with LCU leading 25-15 with 4:46 left in the second quarter. He felt the change was needed after LCU had gone a stretch of 6:22 going 4-of-13 (30.8%) from the field. With the changes, Ashton Duncan, Madelyn Turner, Emma Middleton and Juliana Robertson (all players averaging 5.5 points a game or less) came off the bench and joined starter Olivia Robertson onto the floor. The change worked, as they outscored UAFS 12-2 over the final 4:46 of the half and closed the half on a 6-0 run. Allie Schulte also entered the game in the final 4:46 to join in the mix.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Lady Chaps, holding Rogers State to 14 rebounds Thursday, held UAFS to 20 rebounds Saturday. After edging out the Lady Lions 18-17 in rebounds the first half, LCU out-rebounded UAFS 16-3 in the second half. That is with no starters playing the final quarter as well. LCU has out-rebounded their opposition in 14 of their last 15 games.

WHAT'S NEXT
Thursday, LCU heads to Austin, Texas to face St. Edward's University, with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The Lady Chaps take a seven-game overall win streak with them and they aim for their fourth straight road victory.

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