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Brooke Ridley couldn't have done much more except maybe shovel the snow off the parking lot in a 76-44 University of Saint Francis win over Bethel College in just about the only basketball action Wednesday night in Fort Wayne.
While the rest of the USF campus was closed Wednesday because of the nearly 10-inch snowfall that blanketed the city, the NAIA's top-ranked team was open for business and used a suffocating defense to sweep the season series with the Pilots.
Ridley recorded her team-leading seventh double double scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead top-ranked USF to its 25th consecutive win. She shot 64 percent from the field (7 of 11 shots), shot 88 percent from the free-throw line (7 of 8 shots) and blocked two shots for the Cougars, who improved to 13-0 in Crossroads League action.
Skylarr Shurn, the reigning Crossroads League Player of the Week, scored 15 points despite taking a finger in the eye in the first half and became the 20th woman to score 1,000 or more points at USF. She stands at 1,011 in less than two full seasons.
Kalah Baer joined Ridley in the double-double column grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds and scoring 12 points.
And yet for USF head coach Gary Andrews, it was the Cougars' defense that pleased him most.
"I thought we played great defense," Andrews said in a release. "We limited them to 25 percent field-goal shooting and five made three-pointers," Andrews said. "We also dominated the boards, which was a point of emphasis going into the game. I thought we had good balance. Our team is really becoming a great defensive team."
USF led 34-15 at halftime. Ridley had 11 points in the first half and Baer 10 rebounds. USF limited Bethel (9-15, 4-8 CL) to 21 percent shooting in the first half. Bethel, which hit 17 three-pointers in the first meeting between the two schools in early January, finished 5 for 19 shooting from three-point range.
Bethel: Moore 11, Hunt 3, Swihart 10, Jennings 5, Lutz 1, Ward 5, Scott 2, Seiss 2, Tanner 1, Croy 2, Coolman 2. Totals 13-52 13-15 44.
Saint Francis: Ridley 21, Baer 12, Shurn 15, Wilson 3, Frisch 9, Jackson 5, Hester 3, Rinehart 3, Montgomery 3, Harrison 2. Totals 24-62 22-30 76.