Blue Knight women nip Wheeling Jesuit, 80-78

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Urbana University’s women’s basketball team overcame an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Wheeling Jesuit, 80-78, on Saturday inside the Grimes Center.

It was the first victory of the season for UU as it improves to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in MEC play. WJU drops to 3-5, 1-3.

UU’s Sylvia Hudson scored 12 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback. The junior forward finished with 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

Four others finished in double figures including Sa’Dera Johnson (15), Nikki Current (14), Megan Beachy (11) and Erin Morrow (10).

Both teams had 19 turnovers, but the Blue Knights out-scored the Cardinals 26-15 off takeaways. Beachy sparked the defense with four steals.

UU led by eight in the second quarter when Sydney Moore’s steal and fastbreak layup made it 25-17. However, the visitors responded to claim a 39-38 advantage at halftime.

WJU stayed out in front after outscoring UU in the third quarter to carry a 64-58 lead into the final stanza.

When it mattered most, Hudson came up with a big stretch midway through the fourth.

She made back-to-back buckets to slice the deficit to one, 72-71. Her offensive board on the next possession led to a go-ahead 3-pointer made by Megan Beachy to put UU ahead 74-72 with 4:45 to go.

WJU tied the score at 74-74, but Hudson quickly countered with another basket to put the Blue Knights ahead for good with three minutes left in the game.

Point guard Khira Burton and forward Chenelle Moore led the Cardinals. Burton had 22 points and went 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Moore finished with 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting with eight boards and played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls.

UU shot 53 percent in the second half to overcome a poor shooting start. Both teams shot 46 percent overall.

UU will remain home for Wednesday’s matchup against the University of Charleston (7-1, 4-0 MEC). Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. between the Blue Knights and Golden Eagles at the Grimes Center.

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