Saints get first win of the season, first for Henson
The Saints trailed for the majority of the game, but took control at just the right time.
A 33-point fourth quarter fueled Central Christian College of the Bible's 86-79 victory over Lincoln Christian University on Tuesday at the Laughlin Center. It was the first win of the season for the Saints and the first career win as a head coach for Meagan Henson.
The Saints (1-1) trailed 18-12 after one quarter and 39-35 at halftime before facing an 11-point deficit with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter. A late push by Central Christian at the end of the period made it a 58-53 game heading into the final frame.
The Saints outscored the Red Lions, who are members of the NAIA, 33-21 in the fourth quarter, then scored the final eight points of the game to overcome a one-point deficit in the final 54 seconds.
Vanessa Oyola scored a game-high 26 points, including key three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Autumn Gunter added 21 points and 10 assists, followed by Kasandra Lazcano with 15 points and Ta'Lor Branch with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Mikayla Smith led Lincoln Christian (0-1) with 22 points and 10 assists.
Central Christian shot just 39 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range in the first half, but improved both of those marks to 47 percent in the second half. They also managed to finish 16-for-20 from the free throw line on the night.
The Saints start a tough stretch of playing three straight days when they host Union College (Neb.) at home on Thursday at 5 p.m. On Friday and Saturday they play in the Sleep Inn Classic in Jacksonville, Ill., against NCAA DIII opponents Monmouth College and the hosts MacMurray College.