Griffins Collect Season-High 22 Steals In Win Over Blackburn

Photo credit: Ian Dunn
Photo credit: Ian Dunn

CARLINVILLE, Ill.— The Fontbonne University women's basketball team got back on the winning track with a 71-55 win over Blackburn on Saturday.

The Griffins (5-8; 2-3 SLIAC), shot 38.1 percent from the floor and tied its season-low with four 3-pointers. However, the team went 19-of-21 from the charity stripe for a season-high 90.5 percent, while defensively they were stout with a season-high 22 steals.

Individually, Rylee Stafford, who's played 40:00 minutes or more in three out of the last four, stayed on fire from the field going 7-of-15 to finish with a game-high 20 points. It's the second straight 20-point game for the sophomore.

Raven Venegas went 5-of-10 to conclude with 11 points and six boards, while Sarah Schraut came off the bench to end with 10.

Blackburn (2-10; 1-5 SLIAC), shot 41.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Griffins 42-31. Ball control was an issue for the Beavers with its 31 turnovers.

Savannah Kruse posted a team-high 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Callista Francis was the final player to reach double-figures off the bench with 10 points and 10 boards.

In the first, the Griffins connected on 50.0 percent of its shots and went 5-of-5 from the free throw line. At the 7:04 mark, Stafford gave Fontbonne a commanding 11-2 lead.

Five minutes later, the Beavers cut the deficit down to 17-11 on Kate Smith's jumper, but the Griffins maintained its lead the rest of the way as two made free throws from Riley Guffey with 1.0 seconds left gave them the 21-13 advantage.

In the second, the Griffins shot 37.5 percent from the field, though its defensive effort picked up once more as they forced nine Blackburn turnovers.

With 7:46 left until regulation, Raven Venegas gave Fontbonne the 27-16 lead after hitting her jumper. They stretched it out to a 17-point (37-20) lead on Schraut's bucket at 2:49 and held onto its double-digit advantage the rest of the way leading 39-23 at the break.

In the third, Guffey's 3-pointer put Fontbonne well out in front at 48-27 with 5:45 on the clock. Despite Blackburn shooting 53.3 percent from the field and having a 11-4 rebounding advantage, the team still trailed 56-41 going into the fourth.

In the fourth, the Griffins expanded its lead out to 64-44 on Paige Black's 3-pointer five minutes in. From there, the team was able to go on for the 16-point win.

Fontbonne returns to the court next Wednesday as they'll host Eureka. Tip-off at 5:30 p.m.

Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's basketball team.

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