ERIE, Pa. -- Mount Union's women's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with a win over Waynesburg (Pa.) (0-3) 76-40 Friday at the Penn State-Behrend Tip-Off Tournament.
The Purple Raiders (1-0) were led by junior Tori Rappach (Warren/Howland) who tabbed a career-high 17 points to go 5-9 from behind the arc and recorded three steals. Senior forward Jaime Sanborn (Twinsburg) also scored in double figures with 12 points and snagged nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake/Avon Lake) was strong on the boards as well, to grab nine rebounds of her own.
Defense was a key factor in Mount Union's season-opening victory as they caused 19 turnovers with 12 steals, resulting in 25 points off turnovers.
Rappach and senior guard Anna Alkire (Massillon/Jackson) got the offense started with back-to-back three's, leading the Raiders to a 13-7 advantage in the opening quarter.
Holding a six-point lead throughout the beginning of the second quarter, Mount Union pushed their lead to double digits with four unanswered points under the hoop from Sanborn to outscore Waynesburg 22-13 and head into the break with a 15-point lead at 35-20.
The offense continued to come alive to start the second half as Rappach was perfect from three to score nine points to aid in the Raiders' 25-8 scoring surge, increasing their lead to 60-28.
Seven Mount Union players would come off the bench in the fourth quarter and combine for 16 points, with juniors Jordan Elliott (Howard/Danville) and Sarah Turley (Sagamore Hills/Nordonia) atop of the pack and close out the game with the win at 76-40.
With the win, Mount Union plays host team Penn State-Behrend Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the championship game.