The Urbana University women’s basketball team capped the 2017 home slate by coasting past Ohio Valley, 84-71, in Monday’s non-conference matchup at the Grimes Center.
UU improves to 5-3 overall after the victory and now leads the all-time series against the Fighting Scots, 5-0. OVU remains winless at 0-7 on the season.
The Blue Knights also reached the .500 mark in home non-conference games since joining the MEC (3-3).
Overall, the Blue Knights shot at a 49-percent clip and knocked down 18 of 24 attempts at the line. UU dominated the interior with a 44-28 edge on points in the paint while out-rebounding the visitors, 40-38. Both teams had 15 turnovers but UU was able to step up defensively by limiting the Scots to 42 percent and only 3-of-14 shooting from three-point range.
UU led virtually the entire game after jumping out to a 21-13 lead after one quarter.
The visitors were able to make it a two-possession game midway through the second quarter, but two quick buckets from Sylvia Hudson and Danie Shafer ignited a quick run to put UU in front 32-19 at the media timeout. Then, Taj Thompson drilled her first career 3-pointer to keep it going as UU cruised to a 44-30 halftime margin.
Erin Morrow knocked down back-to-back threes to open the third quarter with a 50-33 lead for UU. However, the Scots out-played the Blue and Grey during the period with a 19-15 scoring edge to get within 10 points (59-49) entering the final stanza.
In the fourth quarter, Jazmyn Haley provided the lift UU needed to leap comfortably back ahead. The senior forward opened the quarter with eight of UU’s 14 points, including a putback layup to put UU in front 69-52 with six minutes remaining.
UU led by double digits from midway through the second quarter; however, OVU tried to make it interesting down the stretch. The Scots trimmed the deficit to single digits on a layup to make it 75-66 with under three minutes to play. But, that was as close as OVU would get after Shafer’s layup a minute later put the Blue Knights ahead for good.
Hudson grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds while leading UU with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting, marking the 13th double-double of her career and second on the season.
Four others reached double figures in scoring, including Stefanie Davis (18), Shafer (12), Morrow (10) and Haley (1). Hudson and Davis each scored 14 in the second half, while Haley turned it on late with eight points in the fourth quarter.
Thompson chipped in with a career-high seven points and two assists in 24 minutes off the bench.
OVU’s Amiaya Melvins led all scorers with 25 points paired with nine rebounds and six assists. Ariel Johnson and Zae Sellers also reached double digits.
UU closes out the year with two games at the Salem International Christmas Classic. The Blue Knights take on the host Tigers on Sunday at 5 p.m. before Monday’s rematch against Tiffin at 2 p.m. Both games will be played in Salem, West Virginia.
The Blue Knights return to conference play on Jan. 4 at West Virginia Wesleyan.