HASTINGS, Neb. -- With her sixth point, junior Elexis Martinez became the first player in Bellevue University women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point milestone as the Bruins defeated Doane University, 78-67, at the C3 Hotel Classic hosted by Hastings College Friday afternoon in the Lynn Farrell Arena.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 6-3 on the season. Doane remained winless, falling to 0-7 overall.
Martinez was one of five Bruins in double figures, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks. Jerrene Richardson led the Bruins with 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Taeha Pankey and Faith Ross both finished with 13 points and five boards. Cassie Jones was the fifth Bruin in double figures, pouring in 10 points.
Haylee Heitz led the Tigers with 15 points and eight rebounds. Halle Konz finished with 13 points and six boards.
After the Bruins raced out to an early 5-0 lead, Doane scored nine-straight points to take a 9-5 lead in the early going. Consecutive 3-pointers by Jones and a triple by Pankey gave BU a 17-13 advantage. The Tigers countered with a 12-5 run to take a 25-22 lead at the end of the first quarter. Both teams were hot from the field in the opening 10 minutes. BU was 5-of-8 from behind the arc, while DU shot 57.9 (11-of-19) percent from the field. Jones led BU in the opening quarter with eight points on 3-of-3 shooting including nailing both of her 3-point attempts.
The Bruins scored the first six points of the second quarter and led by as many as three points before settling for a 38-38 halftime tie. Pankey and Jones led BU in the first half with eight points apiece. With her first free throw just before halftime, Martinez reached the 1,000-point milestone. She finished the first half with seven points, six rebounds, and two blocks.
McKenzie Beach paced Doane in the opening half with 11 points and a pair of rebounds. Heitz added nine points and five boards.
A four-point play by Heitz sparked a 9-0 Tiger run to open the second half as DU took a 47-38 edge with eight minutes remaining in the third frame. Capped by a 3-point play by Richardson, the Bruins battled back, using a 13-3 spurt to take a 51-50 lead with 3:16 left in the third.
BU scored the final 10 points of the third quarter to take a 61-52 lead entering the final quarter. The Bruins ended the quarter on a 23-5 run.
The Tigers scored the first bucket of the fourth quarter to pull to within seven points but that is as close as DU would get as the Bruins cruised to the 78-67 victory.
The Bruins will conclude action at the tournament with a 3 p.m. contest against host No. 6-ranked Hastings College on Saturday (Nov. 30) at Lynn Farrell Arena.