WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College women's basketball team fell victim to a red-hot opponent Monday afternoon. The Lady Builders fell to the Braves of Ottawa University, 93-74, inside historic Stewart Field House. The game was a make-up game from Saturday, when it was postponed due to weather forecasts calling for a dangerous ice storm.
Senior Kenzi Taylor led the Lady Builders with a career-high 21 points in Thursday's contest. The Forgan, Okla., native shot 8-for-16 from the floor, and connected on two of her three attempts from three-point range, while adding a game-best nine rebounds and two blocks. Just hours after being announced as the reigning Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the week, junior Jordyn Miller added 20 points and four rebounds, while freshman Jazmyne Laskey added a career-best 13 points with six rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Ottawa's Madi Stewart led all scorers with 27 points in her final regular season visit to Stewart Field House.
Southwestern shot 46.6 percent (27-58) from the floor, and 53.3 percent (8-15) from three-point range. The Lady Builders converted 63.2 percent (12-19) of their free throws, and out-rebounded the Braves, 34-32.
Ottawa (12-8, 8-4) senior Madi Stewart scored Ottawa's first 11 points of the game, and did so in the first three minutes of the contest to help the Braves to an early 11-6 lead with 7:13 still to play in the opening period. Southwestern (9-11, 5-7 KCAC) answered with a steady dose of Jordyn Miller, who scored 12 of the Lady Builders' next 14 points, and gave Southwestern a 20-17 edge at the 2:26 mark. But Ottawa closed the period on a 9-5 run, and the Braves held a 26-25 lead after the opening quarter.
Senior Kayla Demel drained a pair of free throws to open the scoring in the second quarter, and gave the Lady Builders a quick 27-26 edge, but Ottawa answered with a triple to regain the lead, which the Braves extended to as many as four on another Stewart triple at the 6:59 mark. A 6-2 Lady Builder spurt helped Southwestern force a 34-34 tie after a Taylor bucket with 5:06 to play. Four ties and two lead changes later, the contest was knotted at 41-41 with just under three minutes remaining on the clock. That's when the Braves took over. Ottawa closed the opening half on a 14-2 run, and sent the Lady Builders to the locker room facing a 52-43 deficit.
The Braves spent the second half watching their lead grow. Ottawa negated Taylor's 10-point third-quarter effort with a 9-3 run to close the period. The run helped the Braves take a 70-57 lead into the fourth quarter. Ottawa achieved its first 20-point lead (84-64) of the game at the 4:50 mark of the fourth quarter, and led by as many as 23 on two occasions, including a 91-68 lead with 1:25 remaining. Taylor Henderson and Kayla Demel each drained triples in the final 90 seconds of the contest, but the damage had been done, and Ottawa cruised to the 93-74 victory.
Monday's loss drops Southwestern to 9-11 on the season, and 5-7 in KCAC play. The Lady Builders will return to action Wednesday, hosting the Panthers of York College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. (not 6 p.m. as previously scheduled) inside historic Stewart Field House.