By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
LIBERTY - The Missouri Western women's basketball team committed 12 first half turnovers, which allowed William Jewell to hang around for a quarter-and-a-half.
Leading 33-28 with 4:55 left in the second quarter, the Griffons (4-2) ended the first half on a 17-2 run and never looked back in a 105-62 win at William Jewell at the Mabee Center in Liberty Monday.
Missouri Western, who scored north of 100 points for the second time this season, outscored the Cardinals 55-31 in the second half, and committed just three turnovers in the final two quarters after having 12 giveaways through the first two quarters.
"I think the biggest difference in the first and second half was our turnovers and our execution," Missouri Western coach Candi Whitaker said. "We settled in and were much better."
Missouri Western dominated in rebounding 47-23, shot a solid 51.8 percent from the floor, were an outstanding 27-of-31 from the free throw line, they outscored Jewell in the paint 52-18 and finished with 20 total assists.
Defensively, the Griffons turned William Jewell (1-4) over 23 times, nabbed 17 steals and limited the Cardinals to just 36.2 percent (21-of-58) shooting. The Griffons also scored 28 points off of Cardinal turnovers.
Junior Connie Clarke led Missouri Western with 21 points and 12 rebounds - her third double-double this season. Junior Brionna Budgets scored 19 points, freshman Cleao Murray had 13 and sophomore Alyssa Bonilla had 12.
Twelve total Griffons scored and played 11 or more minutes. Missouri Western scored a remarkable 54 bench points, and were part of the second highest scoring effort against a Division II opponent in program history.
"It's important to have balance in your schedule," Whitaker said, "and this game gave us an opportunity to play everyone. We had a ton of players in double-digit minutes, so I was really pleased with that. Got out of here with a win and got a lot of people some experience."
Missouri Western will continue non-conference play on Saturday at home against Avila. Tip-off from the MWSU Fieldhouse in St. Joseph is set for 1:30 p.m. Pregame starts at 1 p.m. on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3).
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