Fourth quarter execution lifts Bruins over Viterbo in NSAA-Opener

Caletria Curtis had a big game, finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead BU to a win in their conference-opener
Caletria Curtis had a big game, finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead BU to a win in their conference-opener

NSAA Standings

Box Score

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Caletria Curtis notched her second double-double of the season and the Bellevue University women's basketball team made plays down the stretch to defeat Viterbo University 68-62 in the North Star Athletic Association-opener on Saturday afternoon at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

Bellevue improves to 7-5 overall and open league play 1-0 for the second-straight season. Viterbo falls to 3-8 (0-1) with their third-straight road defeat.

With just over a minute to play and Bellevue leading 63-62 Curtis went to work making a layup and drawing a foul before going on to grab a pair of rebounds and hitting three of her next four free throw attempts to salt away the game.

Bellevue started the game strong as they jumped out to an 8-0 lead at the 5:44 mark of the first quarter but Viterbo hung around and forced four ties as well as four lead changes in the first half. Through the first 20 minutes of play BU emerged with a 33-30 halftime lead.

The Bruins grew their lead to as many as eight points but a three-pointer just ahead of the third quarter buzzed pulled the V-Hawks to within five, 47-42. In the decisive fourth quarter Viterbo came within a point on four occasions but could never fully overcome the host side as Bellevue made defensive stops and converted enough at the offensive end to survive with a six-point conference win.

Curtis finished with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season. Beth Walker added 10 rebounds and a career-high seven assists to help BU to a 36-33 advantage on the glass.

Elexis Martinez led all scorers with 18 points and on 7-of-9 shooting to lead three Bellevue players in double figures. Morgan Cuffe added 10 off the bench in her Bruin debut.

Madison Doerr led the V-Hawks with 14 points while Ambree Schlosser and Alyssa Nilssen tossing in 11 apiece. Nilssen pulled down a team-best seven rebounds for Viterbo.

The Bruins made up for just one three-pointer by dominating inside, out-scoring Viterbo by a 42-28 margin in the paint. The V-Hawks sank four treys but needed 21 attempts to do so as BU's top-ranked three-point defense limited the quality of looks that Viterbo had from behind the arc.

Bellevue is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they travel to Aberdeen, S.D. for a 3 p.m. conference match-up against Presentation College.