WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Gallaudet University women's basketball team cruised to a season opening victory over Christendom College, 69-29, on Tuesday at the Field House in Bison head coach Stephanie Stevens' collegiate head coaching debut. The Bison (1-0) were efficient on offense and tenacious on defense as the team scored at least 60 points against Christendom for the third straight season.
Stevens wasn't the only newcomer to enjoy her debut as the team was led was led by senior transfer Lindsay Stergio (Montville, Conn.) who led all players with 16 points in her own Bison debut. Stergio shot 67 percent from the field (6-of-9) and was perfect from the charity stripe as she sank all four of her free throws. She also paced all Bison with 28 minutes on the floor.
While the score indicates the game was a lopsided affair throughout, the Bison were actually clinging to just a 22-19 lead with 5:53 to play in the first half. The team then went on 13-3 run to end the first half, which was punctuated by senior forward Amy Bachtel's (Columbus, Ohio) three-point shot off the glass with nine seconds left before the break. The team continued its run after intermission as it opened the second half with a 10-0 run to all but put the game out of reach as the team opened up a 45-22 lead with 12:20 to play.
It was a well-balanced offensive attack for the Bison who got at least seven points from six different players. Bachtel contributed nine points, while freshman guard Arica Jones (Oakland, Calif.) and sophomore guards Alexa Justus (Forks, Wash.) and Claire Tucker (Middletown, Md.) added eight points each. Sophomore forward Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) pitched in seven points.
The Bison dominated the boards all night as they doubled up the Crusaders rebound total by a margin of 46-23. Stergio and freshman forward Augusta Schriver (Middletown, Md.) each collected eight of those while Bachtel pulled down six. Schriver's presence on the boards was especially noticeable as she accumulated those eight rebounds in just 13 minutes of action.
The Crusaders (1-2) were led by junior Bridget Vander Woude and Morgan Kavanagh who scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. Christendom, a member of the Shenandoah-Chesapeake Conference of the USCAA, is not a NCAA member school.
The Bison look to build off of their season-opening momentum as they host the GU Holiday Tournament this weekend. The team welcomes York (N.Y.) College, Valley Forge Christian College and Wesley College to campus for the two-day event beginning Friday, Nov. 23. The Bison take on York in their first game at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The consolation and championship games will take place on Saturday, Nov. 24.