CBU women’s basketball coach Jarrod Olson has a saying…”Let the ball find the shooter.”
When the Lancers do that they can be quite effective on the offensive end, particularly from 3-point distance.
However, for much of the 2022-2023 campaign, it has been a struggle as the Lancers are shooting just 26 percent on the year from 3-point range.
Saturday afternoon at home against Grand Canyon (#23 in this week’s collegeinsider.com mid-major poll), the Lancers found their range from beyond the arc, hitting a season high 12 3-pointers, in a 78-70 win at the CBU Events Center.
“They have as much talent as anyone in the conference so getting a win against them (GCU) is huge,” Olson said. “Trinity was electric in that first half and did a really good job of getting us going today. It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster for us so far. But hopefully this is a win we can build on going forward.”
Trinity San Antonio led the way with 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Fellow underclassman Grace Schmidt added 13 points and eight rebounds.
It was a team affair, though, on Saturday. A pair of Lancer upperclassmen in Brittany Klaman and Dorcas Wu each added 11 points. Both Klaman and Wu hit a trio of 3-pointers. Wu chipped in another nine rebounds and five assists.
Tiarra Brown put the Lopes up 12-9 with her layup at the 4:27 mark of the first quarter.
However, the Lancers finished on a 15-5 run and took a 24-17 lead after 10 minutes. Wu hit a pair of threes in that run. And Kinsley Barrington added another as the Lancers shot 45 percent for the quarter and 31 percent from beyond the arc. A San Antonio layup started the run.
“I came back against GCU the first time we played them in Phoenix,” San Antonio said. “And I was so angry at myself for not being able to perform at the level I expect. Once I came out however I had to take a step back and realize that I was coming back from an injury and that there were some things I couldn’t control. It wasn’t hard to sit out and be forced to cheer on my teammates. What was hard was coming back and regaining that connection with the team that was out there while I was gone.”
The Lancers took a 43-37 lead into intermission. A Naudia Evans layup and a pair of Aaliyah Collins free throws kept GCU within striking distance at half. And that is despite shooting just 30 percent in total and 33 percent from 3-point range and being out rebounded 20-16.
A 10-4 Lancer run pushed the CBU (9-9, 5-2) lead to 53-41 with 5:44 left in the third. Wu and Schmidt each had a three in the spurt. Schmidt scored five straight points on a layup culminating the run. San Antonio added a jumper to start the run.
Klaman’s 3-pointer with 3:46 left pushed the lead to 61-46. And Wu’s layup off a Nae Nae Calhoun steal with eight seconds left kept CBU’s lead at 15 points (62-47) after three quarters.
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Evan Zars hit a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left which chopped the margin to 75-66. But it was too little too late. The Lancers hung on for a big win which makes them winners of four out of five.
“It’s hard to win a game when the defensive execution is lacking like it was today,” GCU head coach Molly Miller said. “We were late on so many close outs to their shooters and they made us pay. Hopefully this loss is a good reminder to our group about how important attention to detail is when we go through the scout. We’ll go home and get to work preparing for a quality Southern Utah team that will challenge us on Wednesday night.”
In defeat, Naudia Evans led GCU (14-5, 6-2) with 19 points, four assists and three rebounds. Zars and Collins each added 13 points while Brown chipped in another 10. The Lopes were held to just 33.3 percent shooting on the day.
CBU heads to Texas to take on UT Arlington on Thursday and SFA on Saturday.
GCU hosts Southern Utah on Wednesday and ACU on Saturday.