LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – The Southwestern College women's basketball team saw its losing streak extend to five games Saturday in Leavenworth. The Lady Builders fell to the Spires of the University of Saint Mary, 76-62, inside the Ryan Sports Center.
Junior Jordyn Miller led all scorers with 28 points, and was the game's leading rebounder with nine boards. The Wichita, Kan., native shot 9-for-15 from the floor, and was 10-for-15 at the free throw line, and added three blocks. Senior Kenzi Taylor scored 17 points as the only other Lady Builder to post double figures.
Candy De Los Reyes led Saint Mary (6-10, 5-5 KCAC) with 18 points off the bench.
Southwestern (8-10, 4-6 KCAC) shot 31.6 percent (18-57) from the floor, and 23.5 percent (4-17) from three-point range. The Lady Builders converted 73.3 percent (22-30) of their free throws, and out-rebounded the Spires, 47-43. Turnovers once again plagued Southwestern, which committed 22 turnovers that resulted in 23 Saint Mary points.
Very little went right for the Lady Builders in the opening quarter. Southwestern converted just two of its 14 field goal attempts, and committed 10 turnovers in the period. Saint Mary, meanwhile, heated up as the quarter progressed, and ended the period on a 9-3 run to take a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.
The Spires opened the second quarter on a 7-2 run to push its lead to 21-8 less than three minutes into the period. USM extended its lead to as many as 16 (29-13) at the 2:55 mark, but the final three minutes belonged to Southwestern. A pair of Michelle Van Gieson free throws marked the start of a 10-3 half-ending run for the Lady Builders, which allowed Southwestern to trim the deficit to 32-23 at the halftime intermission.
A 9-3 Spire run to open the third quarter pushed the Saint Mary lead back to 15 points, 41-26, less than four minutes into the period. Southwestern ended the run with a pair of Jordyn Miller free throws, which sparked an 11-2 Lady Builder run over the next four minutes. Miller added a short-range jumper at the 2:48 mark to bring Southwestern to within six points at 43-37. The two teams took turns at the free throw line for the remainder of the period, and USM held a 48-40 edge after three quarters.
Back-to-back Miller buckets opened the fourth quarter, and brought the Lady Builders to within four points of the Spires at 48-44 less than a minute into the final stanza. Two minutes later, Southwestern faced another four-point deficit at 52-48 after another Miller bucket, but USM limited the Lady Builders to just two free throws over the next three minutes, while scoring nine points during that stretch to push its lead back to double-digits at 61-50. Kenzi Taylor brought the Lady Builders back to within eight twice over the next 90 seconds, but that was as close as Southwestern could get. USM gradually pulled away over the final three minutes, and walked off the court with a 14-point win, 76-62.
Saturday's loss drops Southwestern to 8-10 on the season, and into ninth place in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 4-6 mark against conference opponents. The Lady Builders will conclude the first half of their conference slate on Thursday, hosting the Bulldogs of McPherson College. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside historic Stewart Field House.