SALEM, W. Va. – During an early season rematch, the Urbana University women’s basketball team played Tiffin much closer but fell Monday to the Dragons, 72-61, on Day 2 of the Salem University Holiday Invitational.
The Blue Knights finished the two-day event with a 1-1 record.
UU dropped to 6-4 overall and 2-2 in non-conference games while TU picked up its fourth win to move to 4-8 on the season.
Tiffin blew out UU in the season opener (69-38) but the Blue Knights led the Dragons Monday in the second and third quarters, and trailed by only four in the fourth quarter until a late scoring drought ended UU’s hopes of a big regional win.
Senior guard Stefanie Davis led UU with 17 points and five assists while Sylvia Hudson (14 points/7 rebounds) and Danie Shafer (11 points) also landed in double figures.
Tiffin used its long-distance shooting to outlast UU by knocking down 10 of 24 attempts from beyond the arc.
TU shot 51 percent overall from the floor as UU finished shooting at a 44-percent clip with only five made 3-pointers. UU held a slight edge on the glass (24-23) while TU had one less turnover than the Blue Knights (14-15).
The Dragons were led by Ali Schirmer’s 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, along with Annie Santucci (14 points) and Cynthia Concepcion (13).
UU trailed 19-16 after one quarter and then Taj Thompson hit her second three to even the score at 19-19 on the first possession of the second quarter. That ignited a 13-3 run for the Blue Knights as they hit their next five shots from the field. A pair of Hudson free throws gave UU its largest lead of the game, 29-22, with 5:04 until halftime.
However, TU countered with an 11-0 spurt that began with three consecutive 3-pointers to reclaim a 33-29 lead at the half. The Blue Knights played the final 6:45 of the second quarter without a made field goal. Both teams finished the first half with 12-of-26 shooting but TU hit six threes.
In the third period, TU picked right back up with another three-ball, capping a 14-0 run for the Dragons until Shafer ended the UU drought with her first 3-pointer at the 8:19 mark. Shafer became the hot hand for UU by scoring eight of the team’s first 12 points in the quarter. Her three-point play at the 6:25 mark gave UU its only lead of the second half, 37-36. But, UU went cold again and finished the final four-plus minutes of the third without a made shot and trailed by double digits entering the fourth quarter, 56-46.
Then, another UU scoring burst got the Blue Knights to within four at the start of the final period. A pair of baskets from Davis and a Hudson layup made it 56-52 TU with 8:15 remaining, but that was as close as UU would get. The Blue Knights made only three more shots the rest of the way while getting outscored 16-9 down the stretch.
UU returns to action in two weeks after the holiday break when it travels to West Virginia Wesleyan on Thursday, Jan. 4. UU’s next home game is slated for Thursday, Jan. 11 against Fairmont State.
UU sophomore Sylvia Hudson of Sidney has been selected as the Mountain East Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, announced by league headquarters on Monday.
Hudson helped guide the Blue Knights to a 2-0 mark in non-conference wins over Ohio Valley (84-71) and Salem International (66-50). The 5-foot-10 forward averaged 24.5 points and nine boards during the week, including her second double-double of the season and 13th of her career in the Ohio Valley contest (21/11).
Now averaging a team-high 16.3 ppg, Hudson has scored in double figures in seven straight outings and in eight of 10 games this season.
Hudson is only the third Blue Knight to garner the weekly award since the MEC started in 2013-14 (Megan Beachy, 2015-16; DeVonyea Johnson, 2013-14).