Slow start dooms Eagles in loss - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Slow start dooms Eagles in loss

LAS VEGAS (WFIE) -

A slow start proved to be too much for the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team to overcome as it fell to Western Washington University, 71-50, Friday afternoon in the final day of the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic.

USI (8-2) missed its first six shots and went just 2-for-13 in the first 8:30 of the contest as it quickly fell into an 18-4 deficit. In addition to the poor shooting, the Screaming Eagles committed six of its 21 turnovers during that stretch as they fell in a hole they could not recover from.

The Eagles, who saw an eight-game winning streak end with the loss, trailed 29-13 later in the period when they made a push to get back into the contest. USI received scoring contributions from three different players in a 7-0 spurt that got the Eagles to within nine points with less than three minutes to play in the half.

After the two teams swapped baskets, Western Washington (6-4) would close the period on an 8-0 run to steal USI's momentum and increase its advantage to 39-22 at the break.

Senior forward/center Mary O'Keefe (Edwardsville, Illinois) scored a quick basket in the opening stages of the second half, but the Vikings responded with 10 straight points to build a commanding 25-point lead three minutes into the frame.

USI, which trailed by as much 28 points, could not get any closer than 19 points the remainder of the contest as it ended the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic with a 1-1 record.

O'Keefe led the Eagles with a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds, while senior forward/center Anna Hackert (Evansville, Indiana) contributed 12 points and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Tanner Marcum (New Albany, Indiana), who had 21 points in the Eagles' 77-62 win over Northwest Nazarene University Thursday, was limited to just six points on 2-of-3 shooting.

Western Washington, which earned the 500th victory for Head Coach Carmen Dolfo, was led by senior guard Katie Colard, who had 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 6-of-10 from three-point range.

The Vikings shot 52.6 percent (30-57) from the field, including 58.6 percent (17-29) in the first 20 minutes. They limited the Eagles to just 33.3 percent shooting (17-51) and 32.1 percent (9-21) in the first half.

USI, which faced a 38-18 deficit in points in the paint, returns to action January 2 at 5:15 p.m. when it opens Great Lakes Valley Conference play by hosting William Jewell College at the Physical Activities Center.

Provided by USI Sports Information Department

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