BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Senior Elexis Martinez and junior Faith Ross combined for 30 points to lead the Bellevue University women's basketball team to a 68-55 victory over cross-town rival College of St. Mary in the final game of the BU Basketball Classic Monday evening in the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
The Bruins improved to 2-2 on the season with the victory. The Flames fell to 1-2 overall.
Martinez led Bellevue with her first double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Ross recorded 13 points with three 3-pointers while adding five rebounds.
Honnah Leo led all players with 23 points. Clare Lewandowski narrowly missed a double-double, registering 10 points and nine rebounds. Kenzie Hoit finished with 10 points and six boards.
The Bruins were just 31.6 percent from the field and 5-of-33 from behind the arc. However, BU went 15-of-20 from the charity stripe. CSM also struggled offensively, shooting 35.7 percent from the field, including a 4-of-21 performance from 3-point land.
The Flames raced out to a 12-2 lead in the opening minutes of the contest as BU missed its first six shots. The Bruins responded with a 12-2 run of their own capped by a 3-pointer from Shareece Smith to tie the contest before CSM settled for an 18-16 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
A pair of free throws by Jamie Winkler gave the Bruins their first lead of the game at 25-24 with 2:46 left before the intermission. Taeha Pankey hit 2-of-3 free throws just before the buzzer as BU took a 29-25 lead at the break.
Martinez led the Bruins in the first half with six points and eight rebounds. Pankey added six points and a pair of boards as eight Bruins scored in the opening half.
Lewandowski (9) and Leo (8) combined for 17 points to lead CSM in the first half of play.
A 3-pointer by Ross capped a five-point run to open the second half as the Bruins expanded the margin to nine points at 34-25. Another 3-pointer by Ross pushed the lead to double digits at 41-30 with 5:33 left in the third.
After the Flames used a 13-2 run to tie the contest, the Bruins scored the final four points of the third sparked by a short jumper at the buzzer by Pankey as BU took a 47-43 advantage heading into the final stanza.
Ross's third 3-pointer and a short jumper by Martinez pushed the BU lead back to double digits at 55-45 with eight minutes left in the contest.
Four-straight points from Leo sparked a 6-0 CSM run to pull the Flames back to within four points at 55-51, before the Bruins closed the game on a 13-4 run to pull away for the 68-55 victory.
The Bruins will travel to Seward, Neb. this Friday-Saturday, Nov. 6-7, to compete in the Cattle Classic hosted by Concordia University.