By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
The Missouri Western women's basketball team found itself in an all out battle in the first half against Saint Mary, leading the Spires by only two points at the end of the first quarter and then by only three at halftime.
After halftime, it was a different story entirely.
The Griffons (3-0) outscored Saint Mary 34-12 in the third quarter and 64-29 in the second half on their way to a 103-65 victory at the MWSU Fieldhouse on Monday night.
Missouri Western took great care of the ball all night, doling out 24 assists to just nine turnovers.
Saint Mary (4-2) meanwhile turned the ball over 30 times, which led to 40 Griffon points.
Missouri Western dominated points in the paint 54-26 and scored 29 fastbreak points compared to just two by the Spires - an NAIA opponent from the KCAC Conference.
Five Griffons finished in double figures, and Missouri Western scored a staggering 58 bench points.
Connie Clarke led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds. Mackenzie Hart scored 13 points on three made three-pointers. LaJahda Boyland and Kassandra Caron each scored 11 off the bench.
Mary Fultz finished with 10 points. Camille Evans had nine points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
The Griffons shot 51.7% from the field (37-72), including 8-of-21 from three. Missouri Western also made 21-of-28 free throws, while Saint Mary was just 6-of-9 at the stripe.
Saint Mary had 35 total rebounds and made nine threes, which kept them in the game early on. Keely Barnard led the Spires with 18 points.
Missouri Western goes to San Antonio for the holiday weekend, where they'll take on a pair of Division II teams from the Lone Star Conference.
The Griffons face the University of Saint Mary's (0-2) on Friday night at 6 p.m. and Texas A&M-Kingsville (2-3) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Candi Whitaker interview
Full audio broadcast
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.