Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

Strong Second Half Carries Women's Hoops Past Cal Lutheran, 70-51

Strong Second Half Carries Women's Hoops Past Cal Lutheran, 70-51

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.—Babson College put four players in double figures and erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit on the way to defeating California Lutheran University, 70-51, in the Miami Exclusive Invitational inside the Fernandez Family Center on Tuesday.

With its fourth consecutive victory, Babson improves to 6-2 overall, while Cal Lutheran drops to 5-4 after having its four-game winning streak snapped.

Junior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) recorded her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while classmate Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) scored nine of her 13 points in the first half to lead the Beavers. Senior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) contributed 11 points and a game-high 17 boards and sophomore Christina Bonfiglio (Westwood, Mass.) scored all 10 of her points in the second half as the Green and White closed the game with a 46-17 run.

Sophomore Jessi Westering (Tacoma, Wash.) paced a balanced Regals' attack with nine points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. First-year Cameron Malloy (Santa Ana, Calif.) came off the bench to chip in with eight points and four boards.

Cal Lutheran scored on three of its first four possessions out of halftime to build a 34-24 lead, its biggest of the game, before Babson came storming back. Bonifacic and senior Elizabeth Lane (Skaneateles, N.Y.) combined for eight points during a 10-0 run that tied the contest at 34-34 at the 5:03 mark. Tamulionis and Ouimette combined for the Beavers' next nine points and Bonfiglio drained a three-pointer following an offensive rebound by Bonifacic to extend the advantage to 48-42 going to the fourth quarter.

Bonfiglio knocked down a jumper to open the final frame, Bonifacic converted a three-point play on the ensuing possession and junior Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) followed with a triple from the wing push the Babson lead to 56-42 with 7:54 remaining. The Regals got as close as 10 with just under six minutes to go, but Bonfiglio answered with five straight points and sophomore Katie Jones (Ridgewood, N.J.) canned a jumper to extend the margin back to 65-48 with 4:05 left.

The Beavers raced out to a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the contest, but shot just 32.3 percent in the first half. Cal Lutheran responded a 10-0 spurt that spanned the end of the first and beginning of the second quarters and took advantage of 10 second-chance points to build a 28-24 edge at the break.

Babson returns to action on Wednesday when it takes on Plattsburgh at 11 a.m., while the Regals face No. 2/2 Thomas More on Thursday at 10 a.m.

• Tuesday's matchup was the first all-time between the Beavers and Cal Lutheran.
• Babson, which traveled to Daytona Beach in 2016, has now won three straight games in the state of Florida.
• The Green and White has made at least as many free throws than its opponents have attempted for the fourth consecutive game.
• The Beavers matched their season low with 10 turnovers and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds for the fourth time in their last five outings in Tuesday's win.