Threshers survive scrappy BU comeback bid

Elexis Martinez scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Bruins
Elexis Martinez scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Bruins

McPHERSON, Kan. -- Jamie Winkler scored a program-record 29 points to help the Bellevue University women's basketball overcome a 13-point fourth quarter deficit and force overtime but the Bruins ultimately fell, 75-71, to Bethel College on Saturday afternoon at the MC Sport Center in their final game of the McPherson Classic.

With back-to-back losses Bellevue now sits at 3-2 on the season while Bethel improves to 3-1 with their third-straight victory.

Winkler, who had seen just five minutes of action and scored just four points in her previous two games combined, scored 23 of her program-record 29 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Bruins to a furious 13-point fourth quarter rally to force the extra period. She was 9-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line while also pulling down a team-high six rebounds.

After a close opening quarter Bethel began to pull away in the second quarter, out-scoring BU 14-5 in the period to take a 27-15 lead into the halftime break.

Bellevue began the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run to pull to within four points at 43-39, the closest they had been since trailing just 13-10 at the onset of the second quarter.

An old-fashioned three-point play by Winkler pulled the Bruins within a single possession, 53-51, with 3:00 to play. The Bruins kept it tight from there until a basket from Elexis Martinez gave the Bruins their first lead since 9-6 at 56-55 with 1:38 to go. After the teams traded three-pointers Winkler went to the line to hit a pair of free throws and five BU a 61-58 with 25 seconds to play.

At the other end Bethel twice rebounded missed free throws to prolong their possession enough to tie the game at 61-61 with just five seconds on the clock and force overtime.

The extra period had a lot of back-and-forth action as neither team was able to get a multiple possession lead until a pair of Thresher free throw with 10 seconds left put Bethel up 73-69. Riley Galvin hit a pair of free throws to pull BU within two but BC sealed the game with two shots of their own from the charity stripe.

Martinez added 13 points (4-5 FG) and five rebounds for BU and Ryleigh McCartney scored eight. Taylor Cormier and Galvin each chipped in seven points with Cormier added three rebounds and four assists.

Abby Schmidt led four Bethel players in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Karlie Schroeder and Kylee Schunn each went for 12 on the day with Schunn pulling down seven rebounds and Jade Brown chipped in 10 and dished out five assists.

The Bruins are back in action on Tuesday, Nov.  7 when they host Morningside College in their home-opener at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.