CLAREMORE, Okla. (February 16, 2019) – Maddi Chitsey led No.22 Lubbock Christian University with a game-high 20 points and was the Lady Chaparrals lone player in double figures, as a balanced effort led them to a 61-46 road win over Rogers State University inside Expo Center Saturday afternoon. The win, their 14th straight overall win and 29th consecutive conference victory, allowed LCU to clinch the Heartland Conference regular season title outright and they claimed the No.1-seed for the 2019 Heartland Conference Women's Basketball Tournament.
Chitsey did most of her damage in the second half, with 15 poured in after the half. She, and the rest of the Lady Chaps, had to overcome a slow offensive start. LCU shot 50% in the game following the opening quarter of play (16-of-32 shooting from the field after the opening quarter).
The opening quarter of play was pulling teeth for the two teams to find an offensive rhythm. LCU, 4-of-14 (28.6%) in the quarter, and RSU combined to shoot 7-of-24 (29.2%) from the field in the quarter. A three-pointer by Caitlyn Cunyus, which was the quarter's only trey (both teams were a combined 1-of-8 from three-point range in the quarter), and a pair of LCU free-throws were the scoring difference, as LCU closed the quarter on a 5-0 run for an 11-6 lead.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Olivia Robertson and five straight points rattled off by Allie Schulte, including a long-distance three-pointer, helped expend the 5-0 run into the second quarter into a 12-2 run for a 18-8 lead. LCU's opening seven field goals of the game were tallied by seven different Lady Chaps and the balance helped provide them a 28-16 halftime lead.
The Lady Chaps opened the third quarter on a 6-2 run, pushing the lead to 33-18. Chitsey was LCU's go-to target in the third quarter. She had six shot attempts from the field and six from the free-throw line, leading to a team-high eight points in the quarter, which helped LCU take a 45-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
LCU used 12 different players in the fourth quarter. Kailin Davis (four points in the quarter) and Chitsey (seven points in the quarter) each bunched-up some scoring runs and LCU was 6-of-11 (54.5%) from the field in the quarter to hold for the victory in their final trip to Expo Center with conference ties involved, as RSU, who joined LCU in the Heartland from the Sooner Athletic Conference, goes to the MIAA next season.
RSU, falling to 11-12 overall and 4-6 in conference, were 38.3% (18/47) from the field and 2-of-13 (15.4%) from downtown. Lauren Schuldt eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in RSU career scoring and led the Hillcats with 13 points.
LCU forced RSU into 19 turnovers and were led by Chitsey's 20 points off the team's 43.5% (20/46) shooting from the field. Olivia Robertson had nine rebounds and eight assists in the road win, which was LCU's seventh straight road win.
The Lady Chaps (21-4, 11-0). Claiming their sixth conference regular season title in program history (fourth in the Heartand Conference) will take the No.1-seed at the Hearltand Conference Tournament and will open their Tulsa stay Mar. 7 at 5 p.m. facing No.8-seed Texas A&M International. Prior to then, the Lady Chaps have three conference games remaining.
Desiree Nelson nailed a three-pointer for RSU with 4:57 left in the third quarter, cutting LCU's lead to 33-25. LCU responded with a 12-4 run to close the quarter, capped by a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter by Allie Schulte to put LCU up 45-29. LCU held RSU without a field goal for a 4:15 stretch from the third-to-fourth quarter. The Lady Chaps eventually led as much as 22 points (56-34 halfway into the fourth quarter).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
LCU's Maddi Chitsey had her third 20-point performance of the season and Saturday's came off a 7-of-17 shooting performance. The 17 shot attempts is the second-most by a Lady Chap this season and it marks a new career high for Chitsey. Her prior high was 14 completed multiple times.
The current three-game road trip concludes Thursday in Wichita, Kan. in a 5:30 p.m. tip against Newman. LCU returns home from Claremore, Okla. (east of Tulsa, Okla.) and will return to class and then heads to Wichita Thursday and immediately back home for a Saturday tilt against Oklahoma Christian.