SHERMAN, Texas – Bryce Frank and Kendall Heitmeier each scored 12 points and 11 players found their way into the scoring column as the Austin College women's basketball team topped Rhodes College 79-66 in the team's season opener on Sunday afternoon.
After falling behind early, the 'Roos used a pair of three pointers from Kali Vittallo and Brianna Harvey, and a bucket by Olivia Bailey put Austin College ahead 12-5 with 4:44 left in the opening quarter. Four quick points from Kayla Linthicum closed out the quarter and made it a 16-9 lead for the 'Roos heading into the second.
Vittallo kicked things off in the second with a three pointer, and a basket by Frank pushed the margin to double-figures at 27-17 with 5:40 left before halftime. The Lynx fought back and cut it to a 35-31 game with 11 seconds left, but senior center Chrissy Ray buried her first career three pointer at the buzzer to send Austin College into the break leading 38-31.
Austin College quickly pushed the margin back to double-digits as Bailey knocked down a trey to make it a 41-31 game, and a three point play from Heitmeier and a three pointer from Vittallo highlighted a 13-2 run to open up the third quarter and make it 51-33 with 6:14 on the clock. The lead grew to 19 on a pair of free throws from Katie Gowdy to make it 55-36 before Rhodes fought back to cut it to a 59-47 game. However, a basket by Frank at the end of the third made it a 61-47 game heading into the final quarter.
The 'Roos maintained a double digit lead throughout the fourth, with the margin getting back to 19 on a Heitmeier jumper that made it 76-57 with 3:47 left to play, and Rhodes would be unable to get the deficit under 11 the rest of the way. Gowdy hit three free throws in the final minute to ice the victory for the 'Roos.
Frank just missed out on a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds, and Heitmeier added three assists. Bailey hit 4-of-7 shots to finish with 10 points and added four rebounds and four assists, and Vittallo chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Catherine Eckert paced the Lynx with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and Erin Deery and Blaire Smith each chipped in 14 for Rhodes.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.