Bruins out-paced by Mustangs in home-opener

Elexis Martinez (12) scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Bruins
Elexis Martinez (12) scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Bruins

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Tenth-ranked Morningside College held a healthy 16-point, 38-22, advantage in points in the paint to power past the Bellevue University women's basketball team 65-55 in non-conference action on Tuesday evening in the Bruins' home-opener at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

Bellevue sees their record leveled to 3-3 while Morningside moves a game above the .500-mark at 3-2.

The game started off rather sluggish with both team combining to shoot just 25.9 percent in the opening period and the Mustangs emerging with a 12-8 advantage. Morningside took advantage of seven second quarter BU turnovers to build a 14-point halftime lead, out-scoring their hosts 19-9 in the quarter.

The second half was played far more evenly with the Bruins out-scoring Morningside 38-34 over the final 20 minutes but it was enough to overcome their slow start.

Sydney Hupp recorded a double-double for Morningside with game-highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds while Sierra Mitchell chipped in 16 points. The duo combined to go 15-of-22 for a 68.2 percent effort from the field. Jordyn Moser added give points and a game-best seven assists.

Elexis Martinez led Bellevue with 17 points to go along with six rebounds. Ryleigh McCartney also recorded a double-figure scoring night with 11 points and Caletria Curtis scored four points to go along with her game-high 11 rebounds.

BU launched a program-record 35 three-point attempts in the game but managed to connect on just eight (22.9 percent). Both teams shot well from the line with Morningside hitting on 88.9 percent of their attempts and the Bruins draining 77.8 percent of their tries.

Bellevue out-rebounded Morningside by a tight 41-39 margin but committed three more turnovers, 18, than did the Mustangs.

The Bruins return to play this weekend with a pair of games at the York Classic. BU takes on Bethany College at 6 p.m. on Friday before squaring off with York College at 3 p.m. on Saturday.