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Lady War Hawks use big second half to drop Newman at home

Published On: Feb 28 2013 11:00:26 PM CST
mcmurry womens basketball
ABILENE, Texas -

McMurry University's women's basketball team came back from an eight-point first half deficit to overtake Newman University, 62-57, at Kimbrell Arena. The loss avenged an early-season loss by the War Hawks (11-14) on the Jets (10-15) home floor back in November.

The match-up was NU's first-ever game at McMurry and just the second meeting ever between the teams.

NU posted its biggest advantage of the contest with 12:56 left to play in the opening half, 16-8, on a layup by Naomi Rosales.  The Jets landed in the halftime locker room with a five-point cushion, 32-27, leading the bulk of the period.

McMurry opened the second methodically chipping away at Newman's lead and, with 10:52 left in the game, finally caught the visitors on Jamie Wilson's three-pointer, 38-38. The two teams swapped buckets over the next three minutes.

McM finally took the lead for good with 7:48 left on the clock on the first of Claire Bruffey's three-consecutive baskets from beyond the arc, the last of which gave the War Hawks a 56-50 advantage with 4:30 left.

Back-to-back buckets by the Jets got them to within one and then Newman began to foul McMurry. But the hosts connected on 6-of-7 attempts from the charity stripe down the stretch in locking up the victory.

Overall, there were four ties and eight lead changes in the game.

Much of McMurry's success could be pinned directly on its suffocating defense, which forced NU into 26 turnovers (twice as many as the War Hawks). McM converted those miscues into 28 points.

Wilson had another efficient game for McM head coach Dr. Veronica Snow's team. The senior forward was 6-of-8 from the floor – including 2-of-4 from long distance – and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, finishing with a game-leading 18 points.  She also led the squad in rebounding with seven (all on the defensive glass).

Senior point guard Rikeita Thomas was the only other McM player in double digits with 13, upping her totals by hitting 6-of-9 free throws.  Thomas also had six boards and seven assists.

Bruffey finished with nine points, while Keshia Collins and Bridget Dorn each tallied eight.  Collins also reached a personal milestone at the 12:08 mark of the first period, canning a short jumper that was the 1,000th point of her career in the Maroon and White.

Collins' four rebounds left her at the 498 mark for her career, as well.

Newman's Alexandra Ciabattoni paced her team with 16 points. Teammate Sumayyah Muhammad's 12 rebounds led all players.

McMurry will close out the regular season – and try to win a second-consecutive game for the first time since December 8 – when it welcomes the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on Saturday at 2 p.m.  It will be Senior Day for both the War Hawks' women's and men's teams, with players being honored between games.

Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.