The Urbana University women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday with a 91-70 setback to Wheeling Jesuit inside the Grimes Center.
UU (2-1, 0-1 MEC) trailed by four, 57-53, at the end of three quarters, but allowed a season-high 34 points in the fourth. It was the league opener for both teams, as Wheeling Jesuit improved to 4-0.
“We knew coming into (Saturday) that we had to limit our mistakes for the whole 40 minutes,” UU head coach Haley Ducey said. “We came out with a lot of energy and intensity. We struggled in the first half finding our shot, but played solid defense that kept us in it.
“But down the stretch, we had too many turnovers and mistakes to keep us in the game. I’m still proud of how hard we worked. This was a great learning experience for the younger girls, and we’ll get ready to take on West Liberty on Monday.”
Guard Megan Beachy led four Blue Knights in double-digit scoring with 18 points. She went 4 of 9 from beyond the arc and shot 50 percent overall from the floor. Guards Stefanie Davis (12 points, five rebounds, four assists) and Danie Shafer (11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals) stuffed the stat sheet, while Morgan Mattimore chipped in with 11 points.
Wheeling Jesuit’s Mariah Callen scored a game-high 23 points to also lead four players in double figures.
Both teams hit 10 threes in the contest, but the visiting Cardinals outshot the Blue Knights with a 50-percent shooting percentage. UU was kept to 39 percent overall.
The scoring went back-and-forth in the opening quarter and UU led at the end of 10 minutes by a point, 14-13.
Then, UU built its largest lead of the game early in the second quarter as Davis capped a run of scoring nine consecutive points. Her jumper at the 9:35 mark in the second put UU ahead 19-15.
The teams went back-and-forth the rest of the first half, but a WJU three with 45 seconds left gave the Cardinals a five-point halftime advantage at 37-32.
Wheeling kept the scoring going with an 11-0 run out of the break and led by as much as 51-34 with 5:31 left in the third. The Blue Knights didn’t’ let up and outscored the Cardinals 19-6 the rest of the quarter. Beachy accounted for 10 of those points.
Unfortunately, the Blue Knight scoring ran dry in the fourth quarter as Wheeling cruised ahead.
UU returns to action on Monday with a road conference game at West Liberty. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.