ABILENE, Texas (January 18, 2014) – Kelsey Hoppel posted 19 points and Lubbock Christian University used a 22-point differential from the free-throw line and an 11-point advantage in points off turnovers to defeat McMurry University 85-70 Saturday afternoon inside Kimbrell Arena. The win is LCU's 13th consecutive win and moves them to 10-0 in Heartland Conference play.
Ana Dominguez tallied the opening four points of the game for McMurry and supplied the War Hawks with a 4-0 lead. LCU would respond with the next eight points for an 8-4 advantage, but they were plagued early by turnovers with seven in the opening six minutes of the game. They would turn the table over a six minute span by going on a 13-0 run and forcing MCM into six turnovers for a 27-10 lead with 7:18 to go in the opening half. LCU's scoring balance was spread out to open the game as their first seven field goals were tallied by seven different individuals. The Lady Chaps went to the line for 23 free-throw attempts in the half and converted on 21 of them for a 91.3% shooting mark. The conversions led to a 44-28 halftime lead. Hoppel led LCU with 10 points in the half.
Lubbock Christian opened the second half on an 11-2 surge in the opening four minutes and led 55-32. The game was not over, as MCM responded with 14-2 run to cut LCU's lead to 57-46 as 11 minutes remained. The War Hawks hung around until Haley Burton tallied four straight points to spark a 9-0 LCU run to extend their lead to 74-53 with 5:40 remaining. LCU extended the game to a 22-point margin (81-59) before MCM responded by closing the game's final 3:20 by out-scoring the Lady Chaps 11-4.
LCU went 29-of-33 (87.9%) from the free-throw line in the game, while MCM was 7-of-12 (58.3%). Each team had 21 turnovers, but LCU out-scored MCM 32-21 in points off turnovers. Each of the team's leading scorers were high school teammates at Midland High School. MCM's Midland High product, Keshia Collins, led the War Hawks with 14 points. LCU's MHS product is Hoppel, who led LCU with a game-high 19 points. She also had four steals in the game. Hoppel was joined in double figures by teammates Nicole Hampton (14 points), Kaycie Boyles (14 points) and Haley Burton (10 points). Hampton was 5-of-6 from the field in her shooting performance. LCU's starters combined to go 25-of-27 (92.6%) from the free-throw line, with Hoppel leading the way with a mark of 7-for-7. LCU (49.1% 26/53) out-shot MCM (43.9% 29/66) from the field despite MCM producing their second best mark of the season.
The Lady Chaps improved their overall record to 15-1 with the win and they remain as the only unbeaten team in Heartland Conference play (10-0). MCM fell to 2-14 overall and 2-7 in the conference. LCU, 4-0 on their current road trip, continues a six-game road trip Thursday in Wichita, Kan. facing Newman University.