Lady Cougar Basketball Game Recap
Lady Cougars Rally Past No. 25 Marian
62-59 in MCC Action
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (2-11-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University women's
basketball team rallied from a 16-point
second-half deficit to knock off NAIA
Division II No. 25 Marian (Ind.) University
62-59 as the Lady Cougars posted their
school-record third win of the year over a
Top 25 team in Mid-Central College
Conference action in the Physical Education
Center on Saturday afternoon.
visiting Lady Knights (17-8, 9-7 MCC) got
off to a good start in the game as Marian
built an 18-5 lead over the first 10 minutes
of action as MVNU struggled from the field
by going just 1-for-13 out of the gate.
The Lady Cougars (14-12, 6-10 MCC)
finally began to get things going and were
able to close the gap to 20-16 after a
jumper by sophomore post Amy Daniels with
5:43 left in the half, but the Lady Knights
closed the half on a 8-3 run to take a 28-19
advantage to the locker room at the break.
Senior forward Alexis Harkins led MVNU
with six points and four rebounds in the
first half, while senior guard Sierra
and junior guard Ashley Jessie both hit a
3-pointer. The Lady Cougars shot just 21.9
percent from the field (7-for-31), 28.6
percent from 3-point range (2-for-7), and 75
percent from the free throw line (3-for-4).
Emily Smithson led Marian with nine
first-half points, while Faith Reece added
five points. The Lady Knights shot 40.6
percent from the field (13-for-32), 22.2
percent from 3-point range (2-for-9), and
missed both of their free throw attempts.
Marian's lead grew to as much as 37-21
just three and a half minutes into the
second half as the Lady Knights started the
final period on a 9-2 run fueled by a pair
of treys by Natasha Marshall.
was able to close the gap to 41-35 on a
3-pointer by junior guard Rachel Peelman
just ahead of the shot clock buzzer with
10:55 to go, but Marian pushed the lead back
out to 48-35 by the 8:30 mark when Adrienne
Sahm nailed a trey of her own.
54-43 with 5:44 to go, the Lady Cougars
began to make their comeback. Junior guard
Melissa Eickholt hit a pair of free throws,
Fletcher drained a pair of 3-pointers, and
Harkins added a trey of her own to knot the
score at 54-54 with 3:32 to go.
3-pointer by Sahm put the Lady Knights back
on top 57-54 on the next possession, but
senior post Whitney Levering made a basket
and then Eickholt drilled a 3-pointer with
1:54 to go to give MVNU its first lead of
the game 59-57.
Sahm missed a trey on
Marian's next possession and Fletcher nailed
two free throw attempts to put the Lady
Cougars on top 61-57 with 1:25 remaining.
A jumper by Sahm made it 61-59 with 1:01
left. Then, MVNU committed a turnover with
36 seconds to go to give the Lady Knights a
chance to tie the game or send it to
overtime. However, Fletcher came up with a
steal with 13.3 seconds remaining and hit
one of two free throws to push the Lady
Cougars lead back up to 62-59.
Needing a 3-pointer to force overtime,
Marian was able to get a shot off ahead of
the buzzer, but Natalie Robinson's trey from
the corner by the Lady Knights' bench
glanced off the top of the backboard and
MVNU had completed the comeback victory.
finished with a game-high 20 points, eight
rebounds, five assists, and five steals to
lead the Lady Cougars. Eickholt
(right) added 14 points off
the bench, and Harkins finished with 11
points. Levering also contributed eight
points and six rebounds. MVNU shot 35.6
percent from the field for the game
(21-for-59), but 51.9 percent in the second
half (14-for-27). The Lady Cougars also
heated up from 3-point range in the second
half (7-for-9) to finish at 56.3 percent for
the game (9-for-16). As a team, they went
11-for-13 at the charity stripe (84.6
percent) and forced 20 turnovers.
Smithson finished with 15 points to lead
Marian, while Sahm tossed in 10 points off
the bench. The Lady Knights shot 42.6
percent from the field (23-for-54), 28.6
percent from 3-point range (6-for-21), and
63.6 percent from the free throw line
"This was a great game
for our kids," said MVNU coach Jason Foster,
who becomes the program's first coach to
lead a team to three wins over Top 25 teams
in the same season. "They continued to
battle and compete even when things did not
look good for us. They continued to play a
physical defense, did a better job of
attacking on the offensive end, and in the
second half really worked to set each other
up for great offensive opportunities."
"(Marian) is a very strong team and they
really do a good job of executing on the
offensive side of the ball," Foster
continued. "Our girls really made a strong
effort in this game to really try to limit
the good looks that they got on the
offensive end. In the second half, we really
committed to work the offense for the best
shot possible. I think the telling stat is
that in the second half we made 14 field
goals with nine assists. That really says to
me that we were committed to getting a good
shot for each other. We have to more games,
and I think we are starting to become the
team no one wants to play."
return to action on Wednesday when the Lady
Cougars will host Spring Arbor (Mich.)
University in another MCC contest. A victory
for MVNU would clinch a berth in the
upcoming eight-team MCC Tournament.