ALBION, Mich. – Hope College rode its defense to earn a 54-40 victory over Albion College in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's basketball action.
Hope, which boasts a defense that yields 40 ½ points per game on average, suffocated Albion's offensive sets by constantly pressuring guards Tanner Johnson and Taylor Nugent and stepping into the passing lanes. Albion shot 21 percent (6-of-28) from the field in the first half as Hope built a 28-13 lead after 20 minutes.
Albion got off to a good start as Johnson and Brett de Bear knocked down shots to give the Britons a 4-0 lead and Meredith Kussmaul, Hope's starting center, was forced to watch the action after being whistled for a pair of fouls in the first 2 ½ minutes of the game.
Rebekah Llorens, Kussmaul's substitute, squashed Albion's early momentum by scoring six points as Hope ripped off a 16-0 run. Llorens scored 12 of her team-high 14 points in the first half, and she also grabbed nine rebounds.
Hope maintained the double-digit margin the rest of the evening though Albion did not help its cause by shooting 4-of-10 from the line. de Bear made 6-of-10 shots from the field to lead Albion with 14 points. Johnson and Nugent finished with nine points apiece.
Albion continues MIAA play at 3 p.m. Saturday with a home game against Trine University.