LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Christian University women's basketball program has made its mark in its short history in NCAA Division II. Since becoming members in 2015, LCU has claimed five conference titles, a pair of national titles and Thursday they obtained another NCAA achievement. Behind a 21-point performance from Allie Schulte, the No.1 Lady Chaparrals defeated No.16 West Texas A&M 68-42 in a Lone Star Conference West Division battle to set a NCAA Division II women's basketball record with their 88th consecutive home win inside Rip Griffin Center.
The win over WT, which was LCU's first nationally ranked opponent this season, moved LCU past Nebraska-Kearney, who won 87 games from Jan.31, 1995 – Nov. 24, 2001. Along with the streak of 88 home wins, which includes a 7-0 home record in NCAA Division II postseason games, LCU has a string of 73 consecutive conference home wins (they went 49-0 in the Heartland Conference and improved to 21-0 in LSC home games with the win over the Lady Buffs.
LCU used a strong first half to take away any pressure of a potential snap to their streak. After missing their first two field goal attempts, the Lady Chaps made seven of their next 10 attempts. Emma Middleton made the first two field goals and started a 9-0 scoring start of the game, which Ashton Duncan capped with a three-pointer. West Texas A&M did not get on the scoreboard until 4:03 into the game, with Braylyn Dollar connecting on a much needed three-pointer. The three-pointer did not phase Madelyn Turner. Who responded with five straight LCU points for a 14-3 LCU lead. Turner (7) and Middleton (6) combined for 13 points in the quarter and LCU led 19-11 at the quarter's close.
WT opened the game 2-of-12 from the field, but then scored on five of their next eight attempts. Jayla Burgess hit a jumper to open the second quarter scoring (55 seconds into the quarter), but the 19-13 deficit would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. Duncan and Turner followed with three-pointers, with Turner's three-pointer igniting 20-5 scoring surge for LCU for a 42-20 halftime lead.
LCU outscored WT 23-9 in the second quarter off 57.1% (8-of-14) shooting, which included a 3-of-4 mark from outside. Schulte led LCU with 10 points in the quarter. The Lady Chaps were unable to continue their success of 55.6% (15/27) shooting from the field (5-of-7 from long distance) from the first half in the second half of play. The Lady Buffs opened the second half on a 6-0 run. Schulte had a layup nearly halfway into the third quarter to end the run. WT's leading scorer, Lexi Hightower and LCU's leading scorer, Schulte, then decided to carry their team's weight in the third quarter. Hightower had eight of the Lady Buff's 10 points in the quarter, while Schulte had all 11 of LCU's points in the quarter. Schulte had her own 9-0 run, which followed a pair of Hightower free-throws (made the score 44-28 with 4:34 left in the quarter), to build the LCU lead to 53-28 with 1:15 left in the quarter. LCU maintained their lead in the fourth quarter. Duncan led LCU in the quarter, and her three-pointer with 1:56 left was the exclamation point to place the Lady Chaps with their largest lead of the game (68-42). The Lady Buffs were held off the scoreboard for the final 3:57 of the game. Duncan's three-pointer was also the only three-pointer of the half, as LCU missed their first nine three-point attempts of the second half.
POWER 10: New women's rankings
The Lady Chaps shot 46.4% from the field in the win (26/56) and held WT to 30.4% (14/46) shooting. WT entered the game leading the LSC in field goal percentage. The Lady Chaps had a 38-14 advantage in paint scoring and a 26-7 advantage in points-off-turnovers, forcing WT in to 19 turnovers while committing nine turnovers. LCU had four players finish with at least 10 points, led by Schulte, who matched a career high with her 21 points. Madelyn Turner was 2-of-3 from downtown and finished with a season-high 14 points. Middleton (12) and Duncan (11) combined for 23 points and they each had at least a +26 plus/minus (Middleton led LCU with a +27). WT, falling for a third consecutive game (was 14-1 prior to the stretch), was led by 14 points from Lexy Hightower, who had eight of her points from the charity stripe. The Lady Buffs record dropped to 14-4 overall, 13-4 in LSC play and 5-2 in West Division action.
LCU opened the second half scoreless for a span of 4:41 (they missed their first seven shot attempts in the half), leading to a 6-0 WT run to cut LCU's 42-20 halftime lead to 42-26, but LCU did their part to get the momentum back. While WT went a span of nine minutes without a field goal, LCU's Allie Schulte swept in and hit five straight shot attempts. All of Schulte's 21 points came in the middle quarters (she had 10 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third quarter).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The contest marked LCU's first game against a nationally ranked opponent this season. LCU went 4-2 last season against nationally ranked opponents, with all three meetings last season in the mix (2-1).
LCU, improving to 14-0 overall, 12-0 in conference and 6-0 in the division, closes out the regular season Saturday with a 2 p.m. tip at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas.