(BOLIVAR, Mo.) — The 12th-ranked Jennies picked up their sixth-consecutive win, defeating Southwest Baptist, 78-70 at the Meyer Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
Senior forward Keuna Flax led all scorers with 30 points, her third game this season with at least that many. The game was highlighted by 13 lead changes, including five in the first 7:37. With the Jennies (21-3, 15-2 MIAA) up 18-17, Quinnecia Twine drew a foul and made two free throws to give UCM a three-point advantage with just over 12 minutes left in the first half.
The Lady Bearcats scored the next four points to re-claim the lead at 21-20 following a basket by Lissette Plasencia and a couple of free throw makes from Brook Duncan.
The Jennies jumped back in front, 28-26 in the next three minutes after Justina Prairie Chief and Twine both splashed three-pointers. UCM would maintain that lead through the remainder of the opening half, outlasting SBU, 17-12, to take a 45-38 lead at intermission. The Jennies received 12 points from their bench in the opening 20 minutes and scored 12 second chance points.
SBU opened the second half scoring seven unanswered points to knot the game at 45 apiece in the first 2:20.
Flax and BreAnna Lewis would combine for the next nine Jennies points, putting the Lady Bearcats in an eight-point hole at 54-46.
However, SBU battled back to trim UCM’s lead to two at 58-56 with 10:10 remaining in the game.
With 9:18 on the clock, the Jennies slowly pulled away for good, jumpstarted by three free throw makes from Revonnia Howard and a three-pointer by Twine to put UCM up 64-56. The Jennies’ lead reached its climax at 74-62 with 3:22 left following a jumper by Flax.
Southwest Baptist was unable to pull within less than five points for the remainder of the game, giving the Jennies their 11th win in the last 12 games against SBU overall and 10th win in 11 tries in Bolivar.
For the fifth straight game, the Jennies’ bench produced at least 20 points, outscoring SBU’s second unit, 24-16. UCM also picked up 18 points off of SBU turnovers and 24 second-chance points.
The win set a couple of milestones for the Jennies’ program. It was the 15th conference win — the most since the 1990-91 season when they finished 15-1 in conference play. The victory also improved the Jennies’ record to 10-2 on the road, marking the first double-digit win total for the program since 1988-89 (finished 13-4).
Central Missouri’s final regular season road game will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Missouri Western for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.