Dillon Flanigan- Sports Editor
Lexi White- General Reporter
The women’s basketball team defeated American International College 77-63 triumphantly, rebounding against Saturday’s loss to Assumption University.
The Owls stepped onto their home court at James Moore Fieldhouse after a short period off facing the American International Yellow Jackets.
American International registered the first four points of the game. However, that was quickly erased by a three-pointer by guard Julianna Bonilla, a graduate. It was quickly followed up by a jump shot by guard Makenzie Helms, a graduate, which culminated in a 9-0 scoring run capped by back-to-back layups by forward Katie Williams, a senior.
“I hadn’t hit any threes in the past few games, so to hit one tonight felt nice, and I just let it flow from there and let the game come to me,” Bonilla said. “I was happy that I could do that for my team and get the job done.”
The increased offensive performance carried over to the second quarter but was matched with the same force from the opposing team. In fact, the Yellow Jackets outscored the Owls 20-19 in the second quarter and were knotted at 32 apiece at halftime.
In the locker room during halftime, Head Coach Kate Lynch, gave the team a pep talk. Bonilla said, “We got a fire lit under us in the locker room because Coach didn’t seem too happy. We knew we had to step it up.”
Opening the second half, the Owls started offensively by knocking down a quick three-pointer by Bonilla. American International briefly tied the score at 36-36 with six minutes remaining but was followed up by a layup from Helms. The Owls took the lead and never looked back, appearing as if the Owls identity was in full throttle, heading to the fourth with a 53-46 lead.
Helms said, “During the second half, we woke up and focused on the little things that we needed to fix.”
Helms was right. The team sprang into action during the second half of the game but especially in the fourth quarter.
Bonilla started the scoring with a two-point jumper and a corner three. Forward Rheyna Steinauer, a sophomore added five of her ten points of the night via a three-pointer and a layup.
The lead was in double-digit territory, and the Yellow Jackets were flustered. Over the last five minutes of the game, Helms, guard Jillian Martin, a senior, Steinauer and forward Katie Williamson, a senior, made 11 free throws on 14 attempts. With the scent of a crisp victory in sight, guard Hope Fox, a sophomore, placed a dagger in the Yellow Jackets side as she drained a three, sealing their fate.
Guard Delaney Haines, junior, came off the bench and sunk three three-pointers throughout the game. Haines said, “My role on the team is to get off the bench, hit threes and score the ball. So, I try to come in and make an impact immediately.”
Other contributors included forward Renza Miller, a junior, with five minutes on the court. Forward Ashley Evans, a senior, who totaled five points, five rebounds and one assist in over 26 minutes as Martin carved out 10 points, five assists, three rebounds and one steal in over 38 minutes.
“I thought it was a battle from start to finish,” Helms said. “We had a couple of big shots and hit a lot of free throws that we needed. All around, this was a tough game, but I’m glad we came out on top.”
The Owls, once again, flew to victory and annihilated their opponent, American International.