(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – In their last appearance before the new year, the Central Missouri Jennies defeated the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns 76-71 Sunday in an in-region matchup.
After the first of Lewis’ four three-pointers gave UCM an early 6-4 lead, the Jennies held a narrow advantage throughout the first half. A 10-2 run was capped off by a trey from Flax, building a 13-6 advantage at the 14:51 mark. The Golden Suns responded with six straight points midway through the first half, pulling within one, at 15-14. ATU’s Jessica Weatherford scored five of the six points, finishing with 17 in the game.
The Jens never had more than a six-point lead through the rest of the first half, and went into the break with a 33-30 edge. UCM struggled offensively, shooting 27 percent (10-37) before intermission, but held the Golden Suns to just 37.5 percent shooting and forced nine turnovers to retain the small lead. Nicole Caddell was dominant in the paint, pulling down 10 rebounds in the first half, and scoring seven points.
Arkansas Tech knocked down the first two field goals of the second half, reclaiming a 34-33 lead on Caroline Eubank’s layup. The lead was swapped back and forth four times over the first 3:16 of the second half, before Lewis knocked down a trey for the 38-36 Jennies lead. The basket started a quick 7-0 run, giving the Jens a six-point advantage, 42-36 at the 15:51 mark.
The Golden Suns again climbed back into the game, taking the lead with a pair of free throws, 51-50 with 10:21 to play. A layup from ATU’s Eubanks gave her team their biggest lead of the game, as Tech went ahead 59-55 with 7:38 to play. The Jens answered with another three-pointer from Quinnecia Twine, cutting the lead down to one, and then tying the game with a Lewis free throw at 6:55. Flax gave the Jens the lead when she pulled down the rebound off Lewis’ missed free throw and then scored the put-back.
With less than five minutes to play, Arkansas Tech made one last run, briefly grabbing the lead with a layup, 65-64 with 4:34 to play. The Jennies answered with six straight points, including four from Lewis, to claim a five-point edge at the 2:54 mark. With a three-point lead, Flax closed the door with just over a minute to play, again scoring on a put-back, pushing the Jennies in front 74-69. After a few free throws iced the game, the Jennies earned their ninth win of the season, 76-71.
Lewis tallied her fourth 20-point performance of the year, and the second in as many games. Nicole Caddell earned her fourth double-double of the year, tallying 11 points and 16 rebounds.
The Jens will return to the Multi to resume conference play when they host Southwest Baptist at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The game can be found live on 98.5 The Bar, 1450 KOKO, and online at www.warrensburgradio.com.