Lady Scots Beat Missouri Baptist

Courtesy Lyon College Athletics Department

No. 15 Lyon College Knocks off Missouri Baptist on Road, 76-65

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – When it’s outside shots weren’t falling Tuesday night, the Lyon College women’s basketball team had no problem using an alternative method of getting the job done. The Scots simply pounded the ball inside.

Hitting only 16.7% (2-of-12) of their three-pointers, Lyon senior post players Suzanne Fincham and Debbie Onukwube combined for 36 points and 20 rebounds as the 15th-ranked Scots (15-2, 5-0 AMC) remained unbeaten in conference play with a 76-65 win over Missouri Baptist University (6-11, 3-2) in Carl and Deloris Petty Sports and Recreation Complex.

Fincham produced her second double-double of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With fellow senior Phagen Altom on the bench most of the first half in foul trouble, Fincham hit 7-of-11 from the field, scoring 18 points and tallying 11 boards and a pair of assists. Onukwube added 18 points and nine boards of her own as Lyon controlled the paint with a 47-35 advantage in rebounds.

Scot guard Alex Davidson dropped in 3-of-4 from three-point land, finishing with 11 points and two assists, while Altom came back with a strong second half, dropping in 10 points and tallying four boards and two assists.

Gabby Jenkins scored eight points and chipped in six rebounds off the bench for Lyon, Taylor Grigg totaled five points, Christine Smith added four and Whitney Keith scored two. As a team, the Scots connected on 29-of-64 (45.3%) of their field goals and only 16-of-29 (55.2%) of its free throws as they won their sixth straight and 11th in their last 12 games. 

Kristyne Smyth and Mandy Kirby each dumped in 15 points to lead MBU, which was held to just 29.4% (10-of-34) shooting in the second half and 31.9% (22-of-69) for the game.

Despite connecting on 48.3% (14-of-29) of its field goals in the first half, Lyon found itself trailing by 35-33 at the break. The main reason was tough defense by the Spartans, resulting in nine turnovers by LC. Missouri Baptist only turned the ball over five times in the first period.

Fincham, Onukwube and Jenkins each had six points at the break for the Scots, whose largest lead at the half was four. Altom spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble. She finished the period with only four points in less than seven minutes of action.

Kirby, Smyth and Taylor Klingelhoefer dropped in eight apiece for MBU at the break, as the Spartans were held to 34.3% (12-of-35) shooting.

The contest was tied four times in the first six minutes and neither team was able to build a lead larger than two. After five ties, Lyon finally grabbed an 18-14 lead with 9:56 left in the period, but the Spartans fought back for a 22-22 tie with 6:43 on the clock. 

With the seventh tie of the game early in the second half, the Scots quickly began to assert themselves, going on an 11-0 run in the first 6:20 of the second half to take a 44-35 lead.

The Spartans cut the deficit to four, 50-46, with 9:38 remaining, but Lyon scored the next six points to widen the gap back to 10, 56-46, with 7:37 on the clock.

Missouri Baptist trimmed the lead to seven, but the Scots put the final nail in the coffin when they broke the Spartans’ press with Altom dribbling the ball up the court, throwing the ball to Fincham, who dumped a pass to a wide-open Davidson, who sank the trey with 3:48 on the clock for a 65-55 LC lead. MBU never recovered. 

The Scots will now return home for a pair of AMC matchups later this week. Lyon will host Benedictine University at Springfield (Ill.) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., before hosting 28th-ranked Columbia College Saturday at 2 p.m.

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