12 Conference Titles | Seven NCAA Tournament Appearances | Five All-Americans | Two Final Fours
Colonels cruise past Quakers, 74-56
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RICHMOND, Ind. – Centre women's basketball cruised to a 74-56 victory over Earlham on the road Sunday evening, leading from start to finish inside the Quakers' Athletics and Wellness Center.
The Colonels (4-1) bookended the match well, out-scoring the Quakers (0-4) by a 42-21 score in the first and fourth quarters.
With the victory, Centre is off to its best five-game start since the 2013-14 season.
The Colonels wasted little time taking control of the scoreboard early on Sunday, racing out to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game.
Centre held Earlham scoreless for nearly half of the first quarter, and took its first double-digit lead following a traditional 3-point play from junior Madison Rice (Knoxille, Tenn.) near the midway point. The Colonels went on to lead 16-6 after 10 minutes.
The host Quakers would play a much closer second quarter, but the Colonels still carried a sizeable 28-17 edge into the locker room after a turnover-plagued first half. The two teams combined for 26 turnovers throughout the opening 20 minutes.
Centre had its own struggles offensively in the first half – going 11 of 28 overall and 1 of 10 from deep – but limited Earlham to just 25 percent (6-24) from the field and 0 for 5 from 3-point range.
After scoring just 17 in the first half, the Quakers netted 24 points in the third quarter alone. That improved offense, paired with a tough zone trap, helped the hosts cut into the deficit. Toward the end of the period, the Quakers pulled within 41-37 after five consecutive free throws, making it as close at it had been since the early stages.
Senior Paige Kellam (Hebron, Ky.) stopped the run with a layup, however, and Centre eventually went into the fourth leading 48-41. Junior Abigail Stewart (LaGrange, Ky.) scored eight of her 12 in the third quarter to help offset Earlham's resurgence.
Centre squashed any comeback bid with a 26-point fourth quarter, coasting to a near-20-point victory.
Freshman Madison Marcum (Cincinnati) was a perfect 4-for-4 in the second half alone, netting 10 of her collegiate-high 12 points while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Kellam led all scorers with 15 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw line. She also had a game-high six assists and three rebounds.
Along with a dozen points, Stewart recorded five rebounds, two steals and a block. Senior Olivia Schad (Cincinnati), junior Cheyenne Bunner (Mars Hill, N.C.) and sophomore Mikayla Fee (Seymour, Ind.) each hauled in five boards, as well, helping Centre finish with a 38-34 edge on the glass.
Centre finished with 24 points off of Earlham's 24 turnovers, and also recorded a 33-25 advantage in bench points. Although they struggled from deep (3 for 15), the Colonels still shot nearly 50 percent (29 for 61) overall.
Defensively, the Colonels locked down the Quakers' two leading scorers, Mariah Flynn and Zoe Curtis, limiting them to 13 combined points and 5 of 19 shooting. The pair entered the game averaging nearly 27 points per game combined.
Centre returns home this Tuesday, hosting Mt. St. Joseph at 7 p.m. ET in Alumni Gymnasium for the Colonels' final home game of the calendar year.