Five players scored in double figures as the Urbana University women’s basketball team scored a season-high point total in Tuesday’s 97-82 triumph over University of Findlay at the Grimes Center.
UU (7-5) jumped out to a 21-6 lead after a sizzling start and never looked back against its former NAIA conference rival. It was the Blue Knights’ third win in 19 matchups against the Oilers since 1990, but the second straight victory at Grimes. Findlay dropped below .500 at 5-6 on the season following the loss.
Tyra James returned to the court after a one-game absence due to injury and led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds. Sylvia Hudson scored 19 points with nine boards while Kasey Knippen, who had her own cheering section of hometown supporters from Ottoville, knocked down three treys to pour in a career-high 15 points. Sa’Dera Johnson (11) and Weston Minnich (10) also logged double-digit points, and Bailey Draughn pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
Findlay’s Sydney Kin scored 33 points on 14-of-16 shooting to lead the visitors. Paige Bellman recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards while Madison Stolly chipped in with 15 points.
Coming off a disappointing home loss last Saturday, the Blue Knight squad showed no signs of any lingering effects by overwhelming the Oilers with energy and tempo.
UU raced out to a 10-0 lead after back-to-back threes from Kami McEldowney and Minnich. The lead swelled to as much as 15 with Knippen’s layup at the 3:00 mark, but Findlay fought back with a 9-1 run to make it 22-15 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Findlay twice trimmed the deficit to two but James had a response each time. After Kin’s jumper made it 33-31, James sparked an 11-2 run to put the Blue Knights back ahead by double digits. The Blue Knights entered halftime with a 49-37 advantage after shooting 52 percent and 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.
The closest Findlay got in the third quarter was eight as the host Knights moved ahead 65-56 going to the final period.
Then, after the lead swelled to 17 early in the fourth, Findlay had another run left to cut it to seven with three minutes remaining. However, Knippen stepped up with a dagger three on the ensuing possession. The Blue Knights sealed the game by going 6 of 8 at the free-throw line down the stretch.
Overall, UU shot 45 percent from the field and drained 8 of 18 from three-point range. The Blue Knights won both the turnover (13-17) and rebounding (48-45) battle for just the second time this season. UU limited Findlay to 42-percent shooting overall and just 33 percent from three-point range.
UU closes out the decade with an exhibition contest at Ball State University on Monday, Dec. 30.