MILWAUKEE – Tonight at the Bloechl Center, the visiting Grace Christian University Tigers defeated the Mount Mary University basketball team by a final score of 61-52. The Blue Angels (8-5) led 30-29 at halftime, but the Tigers 16-point fourth quarter gave GCU the win.
After the Tigers (10-13) grabbed an early lead, the Blue Angels stormed right back with a 10-0 run to go ahead 12-4. That run was finally stopped by the first of three 3-point field goals from Miranda Carlson that gave the Tigers the 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
MMU recaptured the lead in the second quarter with a 12-2 run early in the frame. The Blue Angels hit 4-of-7 from the field and 9-of-13 from the free throw line on their way to 18 points in the quarter. Brianna Valdez (So./Thornton, Colo.) led the bench scoring with five points in the frame hitting 1-of-1 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line.
Although the Tigers grabbed the lead with 33 seconds left in the frame, the Blue Angels were able to finish the quarter with a pair of Megan Johnson (Fr./Waukesha, Wis.) free throws to move MMU out in front 30-29.
Both teams came out of the locker room making adjustments on defense. As a result, neither team was able to score a bucket in the second half for nearly two minutes. After buckets from Melissa Golo (Fr./Boise, Idaho) and Erica Williams (So./Bloomington, Ill.) the Blue Angels swelled their lead to 34-31.
After the Tigers went on a 5-0 run to recapture the lead, they went up as much as four points before the Blue Angels again chipped away at the lead. MMU held the Tigers scoreless for the final minute of the third quarter and were able to tie things up 45-45 at the sounds of the buzzer.
GCU took the early lead and hit 6-of-11 from the field in the final quarter. Along with the hitting 4-of-8 from the field, the Tigers were held the Blue Angels to 1-of-10 from the field and took a 47-45 lead to the 61-52 victory.
Williams finished the game with her eighth double-double of the season via 21 points and 11 rebounds. Last season, Williams led her team with eight double-double in 21 games; there are nine games left in 2019. The sophomore forward also led her team on defense with three steals.
Valdez led the scoring for the bench hitting a perfect 2-of-2 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line.
"Bri Valdez had a great game," said Mount Mary Head Basketball Coach Marc Heidorf. "I cannot say enough about the work she does."
"Tonight was a great game full of punches and counter-punches," continued the coach. "Give GCU credit, they had one more run in them than we did."
The Blue Angels return to action Mon. Jan. 21 when they head to Lincoln, Ill. to take on Lincoln Christian University. The contest begins at 2:00 pm on Monday. For live links to the contest, check MtMaryAthletics.com.