(LAS VEGAS, Nev.) – In her first game as a Jennie, junior Keuna Flax led the team with 28 points and 10 rebounds, as the Central Missouri Jennies won their first game at the Las Vegas Challenge 78-69 over Dixie State.
The Jennies (7-1) got off to a slow start at Orleans Arena, falling behind by as much as 12 points to the Red Storm in the first seven minutes of the game. Dixie State looked to control the glass early, pulling down 10 offensive rebounds and scoring 14 second chance points in the first half.
Shelby Winkelmann‘s trey at the 8:51 mark of the first half cut the lead down to nine, to 26-17. UCM climbed back from that point, using a 10-2 run to earn its first lead of the game on a layup from Kiersten Orton.
Orton was fouled on the play, and pushed the Jens’ lead to 38-36 with the free throw, with 53 seconds until halftime. The Red Storm answered with a layup in the closing seconds, tying the score at 38-38 before the break.
Two Jennies had reached double-figures in the first half, led by Flax with 11 points and BreAnna Lewis with 10. Flax shot 5-of-6 from the field before the intermission, finishing with an 11-for-18 performance in her UCM debut.
The Haltom City, Texas, native got the scoring started in the second half, hitting a pair of three-pointers in the opening minute, giving the Jens a 44-40 edge.
Lewis stretched the UCM lead to seven with a layup at the 16:23 mark before Dixie State answered with a pair of field goals, closing the gap to three points.
Taking control for good, Flax, along with Nicole Caddell, led the Jens on a 13-2 run, putting the Jens up 70-55 with 5:45 to play. Caddell knocked down six points during the run, while Flax recorded five of her 28 points over the same stretch.
Flax’s jumper with 4:42 to play gave the Jens their largest lead of the night, going up by 17 points at 72-55.
Flax is the fifth Jennie this season to debut with 10 or more points in her opening game. She also records her first double-double in her NCAA-II career, and is the third Jennie to post a double-double this season.
Caddell earns her third double-double of the year with her 21-point, 10-rebound performance. The game is also Caddell’s second 20-point game of the year. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native also tied her career best with five steals.
Guard BreAnna Lewis finished in double-figures for the sixth time this year, scoring 12 points. She also matched her career high with five assists.
The Jennies will be back in action Wednesday afternoon, as they take on Academy of Art (Calif.). The Urban Knights defeated Pittsburg State in its first game at the Las Vegas Challenge, and will come in with a 9-2 record.
The game is set to tip off at 1 p.m. and can be heard on 98.5 The Bar, 1450 KOKO, and at www.warrensburgradio.com.