FORT SMITH, Ark. (December 6, 2013) – Haley Burton (18 points) and Emily Pool (17 points) combined for 35 points and Lubbock Christian University went from the Hawaii sunshine to the backyard of Weather Storm Cleon with no problems in a 103-78 Heartland Conference victory over University of Arkansas Fort Smith Friday afternoon at Stubblefield Center. The 103 points marked the first time in program history in which LCU scored over 100 points in a conference road game.
The Lady Chaps returned to conference play after a pair of games in Hawaii during the Thanksgiving break and stepped into a wintery environment. The game was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was moved to Friday in anticipation of the brunt of Cleon, which was expected to impact Fort Smith Thursday evening.
Friday's conditions were not ideal, but the game had to be played. The cold weather had nothing to do to the Lady Chaps performance. LCU opened the game 7-of-7 from the field in the opening four minutes and it led to a 13-0 run for a 15-2 lead to open the game. They would have a minor hiccup, going without a field goal on their next seven attempts over a five minute span, but UAFS was unable to take advantage of the drought. The Lady Lions out-scored LCU 10-4 during the dry spell to cut LCU's lead to 21-14 with 11 minutes to go in the half. Maddy Backus scored a bucket to cut LCU's lead to 34-29 with 5:09 left in the half, but then LCU responded by closing the half outscoring the Lady Lions 24-6 for a 58-35 halftime lead. Kelsey Hoppel, Burton and Pool each led LCU with 11 points in the half.
Haley Fowler had nine of her 14 points in the second half for LCU and a basket 4:37 into the second half provided LCU their largest lead at 76-39. LCU was up 91-61 with 8:30 remaining, but they were held to five field goals over the game's remainder. UAFS received 13 points each from Backus and Sydney Franklin in the half, but it was unable to puncture the LCU lead.
Teams combined for 51 fouls, with 27 called against UAFS. The fouls led to a combined 75 free-throw attempts. LCU took advantage of their chances, as they were 82.6% from the line (19/23) in the first half and 78.6% (33/42). UAFS had 42 attempts from the line, only converting on 17 of them for a 51.5% shooting mark. LCU's 33 free-throws were the most since 35 against Rogers State (on 42 attempts) on Jan. 19, 2012. UAFS' 33 attempts were the most by a LCU opponent since Tarleton State attempted 42 on Nov. 22, 2011. Emily Pool was able to ride the ample amount of attempts into the LCU record books. Pool was 5-of-8 from the line and surpassed Brittany Roberts (459) atop the list to become LCU's career leader in free-throws made with 462.
LCU had five players in double figures in the game. Burton led LCU with 18 points, and she was joined by Pool (17), Nicole Hampton (14), Hoppel (11) and Allison Szabo (career high 11 points). The 17 points for Pool gave her 1,459 career points. She moved into fifth place in all-time scoring in program history, as she passed Carol Hise (1,448). Hoppel tied a career high and Szabo set a career high in rebounds with nine each. Playing in her 77 game of her LCU career, it marked the first time Hoppel led or co-led the team in rebounds. LCU shot 50.8% (32/63) from the field in the win. USAF received a game-high 21 points from Baccus and 16 points from Sydney Franklin. They each scored 13 apiece in the second half.
The Lady Chaps posted over 100 points in a game for the second time this season (101 on Nov.12, 2012 vs. Eastern N.M.). It marks the 10th time LCU has reached at least 100 points in a game under Steve Gomez's coaching tenure and the 19th time overall in program history.
The win places LCU's win streak at five games and they are 3-0 in conference play. They are 7-1 overall. UAFS falls to 1-7 overall and they are 1-2 in conference. LCU heads to Claremore, Okla. Saturday to face Rogers State at 1 p.m. at Expo Center.