Bearcats breeze to win over Missouri Baptist

Special to the News-DemocratDecember 14, 2013 

The McKendree Bearcats led by as many as 20 points in the second half on Saturday in a 72-58 women's basketball win over Missouri Baptist University in Lebanon

Sophomore forward Kara Johnson and junior guard Caty Ponce were the only Bearcat players in double-figures with both scoring 20 points. Johnson's total was a career-high.

McKendree (5-2) took command early in the contest and took a 10-3 lead at the 15:49 mark of the first half on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Amber Alexander.

The Spartans went on to rattle off six-straight points to cut the Bearcats lead to 10-9, but were unable to ever gain the lead. McKendree led by no more than six in the remainder of the half and went into the break up 28-25.

The Bearcats started the second half with a hot hand, outscoring Missouri Baptist 16-4 over the first five minutes to jump out to a 44-29 lead. A jumper by Johnson at the 11:52 mark gave McKendree its largest lead at 53-33, but the Spartans wouldn't go away, cutting their deficit to 57-47 with 7:22 remaining.

Missouri Baptist was unable to cut the Bearcat lead to single-digits down the stretch, and McKendree held on to earn the 72-58 win.

Kristyne Smyth led Missouri Baptist with 16 points in the loss.

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