UU women lose to Shepherd, 78-66

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SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. – The Urbana University women’s basketball team dropped Saturday’s road contest at Shepherd, 78-66, inside the Butcher Athletic Center.

Sylvia Hudson led the Blue Knights with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, which included her first career made 3-pointer. The junior forward has scored double figures in 13 of 14 games, raising her average to a career-high 19.5 points per game for fifth-best in the Mountain East Conference this season.

Freshman guard Nikki Current scored 13 points to post back-to-back games in double digits, while freshman guard Kami McEldowney (11) added her best scoring output in a conference game.

Additionally, senior guard Megan Beachy led the team in rebounds (6) and assists (3) while sophomore forward Sydney Moore also grabbed six boards.

UU grabbed an early 5-4 lead on Hudson’s first bucket, but Shepherd pressured UU out of the gate with a full-court press to build a 35-20 lead after one quarter. The Rams scored 13 points off six Blue Knight turnovers in the opening period.

After trailing by as much as 19 in the first half, UU battled back and chipped away at the deficit.

The Blue Knights outscored the Rams over the second and third quarters, as Bailey Draughn’s layup near the end of the third made it a two-possession game with SU ahead 62-58. UU shot 53 percent in the third and trailed 64-58 heading into the final stanza.

However, the Rams drilled back-to-back threes to open the fourth quarter and led by double digits the rest of the way. UU ran out of steam and only scored eight points on 28-percent shooting (4-14) in the fourth. The Blue Knights had just two free-throw attempts combined in the third and fourth quarters after going 12 of 12 at the line during the first half.

SU’s Sydney Clayton recorded a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Rams. Kayla Tibbs added 20 points.

UU shot 38 percent overall and finished a perfect 14 of 14 at the charity stripe, while SU knocked down 50 percent from the field overall. The Rams finished with a 40-32 edge in rebounding and outscored the Blue Knights 38-14 in the paint.

UU returns to the Grimes Center to host West Liberty (9-7, 6-4 MEC) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Hilltoppers lost to Concord at home on Saturday, 94-84.

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