Mark Atkins, Sports Information Director
BELLEVUE, Neb. – Near perfection.
That easily could have been the first half headline for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II No. 7-ranked Morningside College inside Bellevue University’s Gordon Lozier Athletic Center Tuesday, Jan. 7. After all, head coach Jamie Sale’s squad jumped out of the gate like a rabbit, scoring 21 of the first 25 points. That beginning was part of the Maroon shooting 70 percent from the field which included 53.3 percent from outside the arc and building a 55-30 advantage on the host Bruins of the North Star Athletic Association over the first 20 minutes.
Mside, improving to 14-4 overall with a third straight and sixth win in the last seven outings, added to the margin in the second half, leading by as many as 34. BU did manage to close late to some extent with a 20-17 fourth period advantage for a 95-67 final.
The Mustangs had another balanced scoresheet at game’s end. Junior guard Sierra Mitchell Morning(JR/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa), reeling off her 15th straight appearance with multiple three-point baskets, led the way with 18 points. She was followed by the sophomore tandem of forward Sophia Peppers (SO/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa) and guard Taylor Rodenburgh (SO/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) who posted 12 points apiece but was just part of their stat line story, as Peppers added six rebounds and three steals, and Rodenburgh, continuing her theme as being a Mside super-sub, dished out three assists and cleared off five caroms. Senior forward/center Sydney Hupp (SR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) closed out the double-digit column with 11 points and also blocked three Bruin shot attempts. All in all, 13 of the 16 Morningside players that stepped on the floor posted points.
Sale’s squad returns home for a pivotal Great Plains Athletic Conference clash with No. 12-ranked Northwestern College Saturday, Jan. 11. Game time is 2 p.m. at Allee Gymnasium in the Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center.
NOTES: Mitchell’s effort moved over the 1,200-point career total. She moved into the No. 22 spot on the program’s list (1,217 points) … Hupp gained a spot on the points’ list, too, passing Shawn Paskert (1988-93) with 1,353 points for No. 13. Her two rebounds during the evening helped push her into 12th on the program’s top 25 (720).