The Golden Bears (2-1 overall) trailed 11-8 after the first quarter, but outscored the Griffins 27-15 in that pivotal second quarter to take a nine-point lead to halftime. KU scored 80 of its 88 points in the final three quarters.
Freshman Alexis Smith, who had a team-high 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting, connected from long-range within the first minute of the second quarter to give KU a 13-11 advantage, one that it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
The 22 points from Smith were a career-high, and the most by a Kutztown freshman since Sierra Taylor tallied 23 against Indiana (Pa.) in Dec. 2016. Smith also had a career-high eight rebounds and two blocks.
After a 35-26 lead at the halftime intermission, the Maroon and Gold saw its advantage climb to as much as 16 at 48-32 with 7:01left in the third quarter.
Chestnut Hill never quit and chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to as low as eight, 75-67, with 5:03 remaining in the game. But Smith drained a 3-pointer on the next play down court, and Kutztown held on for the victory.
KU connected on 11 3-pointers, the most since the 2011 team made a school-record 14. Smith and Derr combined to go 10-of-18 from beyond the arc, with each freshmen hitting five a piece.
The two teams were nearly identical in rebounds, with KU holding the edge, 48-45 overall.
Derr and sophomore Gabbi Wright both recorded double-digits in scoring going for 17 and 10 respectively.
Jenna Widdicombe finished with six points and seven rebounds. Taylor had nine points and four assists. Derr and Karen Lapkiewicz also contributed a team-high four assists each, and Keifonna Ferguson was just shy of a double-double, finishing with seven points and eight rebounds.
Chestnut Hill was led by a trio that scored at least 15 points. Vicky Tumasz finished with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jaeda Wildgoose tallied 19 points and Mary Trossi had 15.
After three consecutive nonconference games, Kutztown will begin Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference action with two games this weekend. KU will be at California (Pa.) on Saturday, Nov. 18 and at Slippery Rock on Sunday, Nov. 19. Both tips are set for 1 p.m.