Martinez; Big 3rd quarter spark BU to 66-59 win over OKWU

Elexis Martinez led the Bruins with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Elexis Martinez led the Bruins with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

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BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Elexis Martinez recorded a double-double and the Bruins outscored Oklahoma Wesleyan by 21 points in the third quarter as the Bellevue University women's basketball team registered a 66-59 victory over the Eagles in the Bellevue University/Nebraska Christian Women's Basketball Classic Friday afternoon at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center. 

Bellevue improved to 4-1 on the season with the win. OKWU suffered its first loss, falling to 2-1 overall. Both teams are receiving votes in the NAIA pre-season national rankings. 

Martinez tied a career-high with 25 points while grabbing 11 rebounds and adding two blocked shots. Jamie Winkler added 10 points, four assists and four steals in the win. Faith Ross was the third Bruin in double figures, finishing with 10 points, to go along with three rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals. 

OKWU was led by Ashley Cook's 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists.  

The Eagles hit three-straight 3-pointers during a 14-0 run to take an 18-8 lead with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter. After BU scored four-straight, a 3-pointer by Coley Ickes gave the Eagles a 21-12 lead after the opening quarter.

Ickes and Ashley Cook both scored six points to lead OKWU in the first quarter. BU was led by Martinez' six points. 

The two teams played evenly throughout the second quarter as the Eagles maintained a nine-point advantage heading into the intermission with a 32-23 advantage. 

Neither team shot well in the first half, with OKWU holding a 35.3 percent to 21.7 percent advantage in field goal percentage. The Bruins hit just 1-of-13 3-pointers in the opening half and connected on just five field goals overall, but used 12 free throws to stay within single digits at the break. 

Martinez led BU in the first half with 10 points and four rebounds. Ickes and Sarah Hajdukovich paced the Eagles with seven points each. 

A 12-2 BU run highlighted by six points from Martinez, gave BU its first lead since midway through the first quarter at 40-38 with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter. The Bruins extended the lead to 57-45, outscoring the Eagles, 34-13, in the third stanza. Martinez scored 12 points in the third quarter as BU shot 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from the field and hit 12-of-13 free throws in the third frame.

A 3-pointer by Cook cut the BU lead to single digits at 62-54 with 5:28 left in the contest.  Another triple by Cook made it a seven-point game at 64-57 at the 3:53 mark. Both teams managed just one basket the remainder of the contest as BU registered the 66-59 victory.  

The Bruins will host Peru State on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.