Bruins upset #13 Defenders in 78-76 thriller

Bruins upset #13 Defenders in 78-76 thriller

Box Score

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Five Bruins scored in double figures as the Bellevue University women's basketball team pulled off a 78-76 upset victory over No. 13-ranked Dordt College Tuesday night in non-conference action at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center. 

The Bruins improved to 10-4 on the season with the victory. Dordt fell to 10-4 overall on the year. The victory marked BU's first-ever win over a top-15 team in school history. 

Morgan Cuffe led the Bruins with 16 points, six rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. Cuffe was 8-of-9 from the charity stripe as the Bruins were 24-of-28 from the free-throw line on the night. Cuffe drained three free throws in the final 13 seconds to secure the win. 

Jamie Winkler added 15 points, six assists, and three rebounds. Shayla Dean, Faith Ross and Laura Jurek each added 12 points in the victory. 

The nation's leading scorer, Erika Feenstra, led the Defenders with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Feenstra, however, missed two critical free throws with four seconds left in the contest to help BU preserve the victory. 

Annie Rhinesmith added 12 points, seven assists, and three rebounds. Kenzie Bousema produced 10 points and six rebounds. 

The Bruins forced three early turnovers, scoring the first seven points of the game and hit 9-of-10 shots in the first five minutes of the contest, racing out to 22-10 lead.

The Defenders responded by ending the quarter on a 13-4 run to pull to within three points at 26-23 heading into the second quarter. 

BU connected on 61 percent from the field in the first quarter while Dordt finished at 55.6 percent. Winkler led BU in the opening 10 minutes with eight points, while Feenstra and Rachel Evavold both scored six points for DC. 

Dordt scored the first five points of the second quarter, taking its first lead of the game at 28-26 at the 8:32 mark. 

After the Defenders took their biggest lead of the first half at 39-33 following a layup by Evavold at the 4:17 mark, the Bruins closed the half on an 8-2 run to tie the contest at 41-41 at the intermission.  

Winkler led all scorers in the first half with 11 points. Dean added nine rebounds, four assists, and a pair of rebounds. 

Feenstra and Bousema led DC in the opening half as each scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds. 

Both teams shot well from the field in the opening half with BU holding a 51.5 to 47.2 percent advantage in field goal percentage.  

The Bruins hit their first 12 free throw attempts in the third quarter and built a 59-49 lead following a layup by Winkler with 2:50 left in the period.

The Defenders countered with 16-straight points, holding the Bruins scoreless over the next six minutes as DC took a 65-59 lead with just over seven minutes left in the game. 

BU battled back and a 3-pointer by Ross cut the DC lead to a single-point at 71-70 with 3:10 remaining. After a pair of free throws by Dean knotted the contest at 75-75 with 49 seconds left, Rhinesmith hit 1-of-2 free throws to give DC a 76-75 lead with 26 seconds remaining.  

Cuffe nailed two free shots to give BU a 77-76 edge with 13.7 ticks left in regulation. After picking up her 14th rebound and being fouled, Feenstra missed both free throw attempts. Cuffe then hit 1-of-2 free throws giving the Bruins a 78-76 lead with three seconds left and Defenders could not get a shot off as BU pulled off the two-point upset.  

The Bruins will travel to Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, Dec. 15, for a 2 p.m. non-conference contest at eighth-ranked Morningside College.