Blue Knight women’s team off to 2-0 start

VIENNA, W. Va. – The Urbana University women’s basketball team overcame a slow start to edge Ohio Valley, 70-67, for a key non-conference win on the road Tuesday night.

After the victory, UU improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012-13 – when it also defeated Ohio Valley on the road for its second win (68-58). The Fighting Scots dropped to 1-2 on the season.

A pair of Blue Knight freshmen stepped up with key performances Tuesday, as forward Sylvia Hudson (Sidney, Ohio) and guard Morgan Mattimore (Delta, Ohio) each scored 20 points. The duo helped UU rally past an early 14-4 deficit in the first quarter and overcome multiple lead changes late in the contest. They combined to score 15 of the team’s 17 fourth-quarter points.

Hudson registered her first career double-double with 10 boards while shooting 60 percent from the floor. Her basket with 20 seconds left sealed the win by giving UU its largest lead of the night at 70-66.

“We gutted out a tough road win,” UU Coach Haley Ducey said. “We showed a lot of resilience down the stretch, which I’m so proud of. These freshmen really stepped up and weren’t scared to make big plays. We gained a lot of experience and that will help us down the road, while starting 2-0 gives us confidence going into conference play this weekend.”

Sophomore Megan Beachy also reached double figures with 10 points, as the Blue Knights shot an even 40 percent on the night while limiting OVU to 37 percent shooting. Junior Stefanie Davis chipped in with seven points, four boards and three assists, while Danie Shafer led the team with four assists and pulled down seven boards with seven points.

It took a gritty team effort by the Blue and Grey to pull this one out. Both teams struggled to take care of the ball with a combined 40 turnovers. OVU outplayed the Blue Knights in most categories, including a 49-40 advantage on the boards and 29-7 margin in bench scoring.

OVU also led the majority of the contest but the Blue Knights made plays when it mattered most.

Hudson, who went 8 of 9 at the line, knocked down two freebies with eight seconds left in the half to put UU ahead 32-30 at the break.

The third quarter saw the Blue Knights start off slow again and the Scots eventually built a seven-point lead, 49-42, with under two minutes left in the frame. But, that’s when the biggest UU run began as another Mattimore jumper led to a 11-2 UU spurt to close the quarter with a 53-51 lead.

UU continued to ride the hot hand as Mattimore registered 10 of the next 12 points. Her jumper with 1:14 left gave UU a 65-64 lead, but OVU hit two free throws on the next possession for a 66-65 edge. Then, it was Hudson’s turn as she converted a three-point play with 56 seconds left to give UU the lead for good.

UU will return to the hardwood on Saturday as it hosts Wheeling Jesuit in the home opener at 2 p.m. inside the Grimes Center. The UU men will play at 4 p.m.

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