BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Elexis Martinez recorded her team-leading fourth-double-double of the season to lead 24th-ranked Bellevue University to a 68-56 victory over Viterbo University in North Star Athletic Association women's basketball action at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center Friday night.
Martinez recorded 14 points and tied a career-high with 13 rebounds as the Bruins improved to 13-8 on the season and 4-2 in the NSAA. Viterbo fell to 7-12 on the season and remained winless in the NSAA at 0-6.
The Bruins recorded 16 steals in the victory and hit 9-of-18 3-point attempts. The V-Hawks, who were just 5-of-20 from behind the arc, were led by Ambree Scholsser and Madessa Collins who recorded 12 points apiece. Alyssa Nilssen collected a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The two teams played evenly throughout most of the first quarter, before the Bruins closed the stanza on a 7-2 run to take a 15-10 lead after the opening 10 minutes.
Cuffe and Dean both scored five points to pace the BU offense in the first quarter as BU outshot the V-Hawks 42.9 to 23.1 percent.
The Bruins scored 11-consecutive points capped by a 3-pointer by Dean to take a 33-17 lead at the 2:34 mark of the second quarter before settling for a 35-24 halftime advantage.
Martinez led the Bruins in the first half with nine points and nine rebounds. Dean added eight points and a pair of assists and Cuffe contributed with seven points and a pair of boards. VU was led by Scholsser's seven points in the first half.
The Bruins outshot VU 39.4 to 32.0 percent in the first half and hit 6-of-12 from behind the arc, compared to the V-Hawks 1-of-8 showing in 3-point attempts.
Sparked by a long 3-pointer by Schlosser, the V-Hawks opened the second half on a 5-1 run to pull to within seven points at 36-29 at the 8:34 mark of the third quarter. The Bruins responded with a 13-3 spurt to extend the BU cushion to 17 points at 51-34 with two minutes left in the third before taking a 53-38 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The V-Hawks clawed their way back to within single digits at 63-54 following a layup by Collins with 2:05 left in the contest. After getting as close as eight points, the Bruins nailed five free throws in the final minute to seal the 68-56 victory.
The Bruins will host Waldorf University tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.