Photo taken by Head Athletic Trainer, Ann Schmerbauch
CARLINVILLE, Ill.—After struggling throughout the first half from the floor, the Fontbonne University women's basketball team offense took over the second half, outscoring Blackburn 46-20, en route to the 73-40 win.
Fontbonne (9-10; 5-5 SLIAC), shot 28.0 percent in the first half, but overcame its struggles as they shot 55.1 percent in the second. Overall, the team shot 39.7 percent from the floor, forced 28 turnovers and dominated on the glass with a 50-37 advantage.
Individually, Kaitlynn Walker led off the bench with a game-high 12 points, including going 6-of-6 from the charity-stripe. Rylee Stafford and Sarah Schraut each contributed 11 points, while Raven Venegas went a perfect 5-of-5 to conclude with 10 points.
Blackburn (2-16; 0-10 SLIAC), had its struggles as they made just 11 shots to finish with a mere field goal percentage of 24.4. Kate Smith and Jenna Dudra led the Beavers with 10 points each.
It was a back-and-fourth outing early in the first, but the Griffins obtained an 11-9 lead on Katie Sportsman's two made free throws at 4:18. From there, the team rattled off a 7-0 run and outscored Blackburn 9-3 in the final minutes to take a 20-12 lead after one.
In the second, neither team shot the ball particularly well. The Griffins went 2-of-19 (10.5 percent), while the Beavers knocked in 3-of-12 (25.0 percent) of its attempts. Still, despite scoring just seven points in the quarter, Fontbonne led 27-20 at the break.
Things changed drastically in favor of the Griffins in the third quarter. The offense found its groove by going on a 9-0 run in less than three minutes to gain the separation they were looking for at 36-20.
The team maintained its double-digit lead the rest of the quarter and headed into the fourth on top, 47-30. Fontbonne shot an impressive 53.3 percent from the floor in the third, while its defense forced eight turnovers and held Blackburn to just two made shots.
The fast start from the third carried over into the fourth with a 10-0 run, capped off by Walker's old-fashioned 3-point play to put them well out in front, 57-30 (7:39). Fontbonne's offense couldn't be slowed down from there as they shot 57.1 percent in the fourth, allowing them to go on for the 33-point win.
Fontbonne returns to the court at home in a key St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown against rival Webster on Saturday in the Coaches vs. Cancer game. Tip-off goes up at 1 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's basketball team.