Lady Cougar Basketball Game Recap
No. 18 Bethel Knocks Lady Cougars out of
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MISHAWAKA, Ind. (2-21-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University women's
basketball team committed a season-high 27
turnovers and allowed a season-most 12
3-pointers as NAIA Division II No. 18 Bethel
(Ind.) College posted a 73-60 victory over
the Lady Cougars in Wiekamp Arena on Tuesday
night in the first round of the Mid-Central
College Conference Tournament.
(16-13), the No. 7 seed in the eight-team
tournament, got off to a good start as
junior guard Ashley Jessie, junior guard
Melissa Eickholt, and senior guard Sierra
each nailed a trey to stake the Lady Cougars
to an early 12-8 lead by the 12:39 mark of
the first half.
However, the host
Lady Pilots (21-9), who are the No. 2 seed
in the tournament, used a 16-3 run over the
next seven minutes to build a 24-15 lead.
Chrissy Hooks, Kristin Hicks, Ashlee Ort,
and Laura Johnson each made a 3-pointer to
fuel the surge.
MVNU closed the gap
to 26-24 on another trey by Fletcher with
2:28 left in the half, but Bethel closed the
half on a 5-0 run to take a 31-24 advantage
to the locker room at the break.
second half did not start well for the Lady
Cougars as the host Lady Pilots were able to
extend their lead out to 42-28 with just
four minutes gone by as MVNU committed three
The Lady Cougars
pulled within 45-37 with 13:59 still to
play, but a pair of 3-pointers by Hicks and
a free throw by Sarah Clark pushed Bethel's
lead back up to 52-37 by the 12:30 mark.
MVNU chipped away at the lead again to
close the gap to 54-47 with 8:09 to go on a
three-point play by senior forward Alexis
Harkins, but 11 unanswered points by the
Lady Pilots gave them their biggest lead of
the game at 65-47 with 4:56 remaining.
The Lady Cougars did not give up as they
pull within 69-60 with 1:46 left on a trey
by junior forward Emily Steveley, but that
would be as close as they would get the rest
of the way as Bethel prevailed 73-60 to
advance to the MCC Tournament semifinals.
Fletcher finished with 20 points, eight
rebounds, eight assists, and four steals as
she played 36 minutes. Harkins added 10
points and seven rebounds, and Steveley
contributed eight points and five rebounds
off the bench. Eickholt tossed in seven
points, and senior post Whitney Levering
tallied six points. MVNU shot just 37.5
percent from the field (21-for-56), 33.3
percent from 3-point range (7-for-21), and
73.3 percent from the free throw line
(11-for-15). The Lady Cougars also committed
a season-high 27 turnovers.
Bethel with 20 points as she hit four
3-pointers. Johnson added 14 points, Katy
Stuppy finished with 12 points, and Ort
tallied 10 points and grabbed six rebounds
to round out the double figure scorers for
the Lady Pilots, who posted the
second-highest point total allowed by the
Lady Cougars this season trailing just the
77 points scored by Grace (Ind.) College
back on November 22. Bethel shot 42.1
percent from the field (24-for-57), 40
percent from 3-point range (12-for-30), and
76.5 percent from the free throw line
(13-for-17). The 12 3-pointers made were the
most allowed by MVNU this season after the
Lady Pilots hit 11 in a previous meeting
this year on January 3.
came out swinging tonight, and unfortunately
we did not play as aggressive as they did,"
said MVNU coach Jason Foster. "We gave the
ball away way too much, we did not really
pursue the ball with all-out effort, and we
played on our heels for most of the night.
We had some moments where we really cut into
the lead only to allow them open looks from
the 3-point line. Sierra gave a great effort
leading us in scoring and rebounding. I
think we just settled for the jump shot
tonight, and we needed to attack their zone
and the rim. We just were not as aggressive
as we needed to be."
"I thought going
into tonight we were really moving in the
right direction," Foster added, referring to
his team's five-game winning streak to close
out the regular season. "I think that we
still just need to correct a few things. We
have one more chance for this season with
the National Christian College Athletic
Association Tournament and we'll see what we
make of it."
The Lady Cougars will
participate in the NCCAA East Region
Tournament, but details on a game date and
opponent are not yet known. Information will
be posted on the MVNU athletic department
and Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/MVNU.Cougars)
as soon as it becomes available.