St. Louis, Mo. - Fontbonne University women's basketball was slighted by an undefeated Central College Dutch team today 55-52. Central improves to 5-0 on the season while the Griffins fall to 1-3.
Sophomore Kaitlynn Walker began her career-high 22 points right off the bat with a three-pointer from freshman Katie Sportsman that helped give Fontbonne an 8-3 lead. That lead was quickly abolished as Central tied the game but a skip pass from sophomore Paige Black to Walker gave Fontbonne an 11-8 advantage. Fontbonne found themselves trailing 13-11 when Central posted two consecutive treys. They led 19-11 with 1:36 left in the first period when Fontbonne scored two treys themselves to close out the period down just two points.
Half of Central's four treys and five of Fontbonne's seven came in the first period alone.
The Griffins closed out second quarter action with a 30-28 lead. The Griffins trailed the entire quarter until Walker's layup from an Emmie Haring pass with 47 seconds left gave the Griffins the edge. At halftime Walker led all players with 17 points. Sarah Schraut came off the bench at the end of the second quarter and was pivotal in Fontbonne's gaining of the lead. Schraut brought down five rebounds in five minutes, four of which were defensive.
Fontbonne's final lead of the game was in the third quarter with a 34-32 advantage. Central closed out with a 44-38 lead heading into the final frame. After Central led 47-38, the Griffins scored eight unanswered points to pull within one with just under six minutes left to play. In their previous seven and a half minutes, Fontbonne was awarded with two Central charges as freshmen Emily Bay and Raven Venegas each drew the offensive turnovers.
Central wracked up a 53-49 advantage with 19 seconds remaining with Walker banked a three-pointer with 4.4 seconds to go. The Dutch called a timeout but the Griffins had their own strategy. Fontbonne was half of a second away from being awarded the five-second call as Central tried to inbound the ball. The Dutch's bounce pass was knocked out of bounds for the Griffins to try and tie the game with three seconds left. Sportsman threw the ball in to Haring who dribbled up the court and almost drained the desperate three-pointer near the top of the arc.
The loss is Fontbonne's third in a row, but Central's largest lead was only eight points. Walker finished the game with three treys, four steals and five assists. Sportsman was the other Griffin with double digits with 10 points and eight rebounds. Venegas recorded seven rebounds, six points, three blocks and two steals while Haring rounded out the game with five assists.
Fontbonne is ready to open conference play next week when they travel to Westminster College. The Griffins are set for a 6 p.m. tipoff on the final day of the month (November 30th) in Fulton, Mo.