WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College women's basketball saw its late-season losing streak extend to four games with a loss to one of the hottest teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Thursday evening. The Lady Builders fell to the Spires of the University of Saint Mary, 52-47, on Senior Day inside historic Stewart Field House.
Junior Jordyn Miller led Southwestern (13-16, 9-12 KCAC) with a 13-point, 15-rebound double-double. The Wichita, Kan., product was just 4-for-12 from the floor, but was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Her 15 rebounds was just three boards short of her career-best. Senior Me'Shelle Parker drained a pair of late triples to get the Lady Builders back into the game, and finished with 12 points, while senior Kenzi Taylor scored 11 points and dished out seven assists in her final game inside Stewart Field House.
Saint Mary (17-11, 15-6 KCAC) guard Candy De Los Reyes led all scorers with 14 points for the Spires, which recorded their 11th-straight win in Thursday's game.
Southwestern shot 32.1 percent (17-53) from the floor, and 38.9 percent (7-18) from three-point range. The Lady Builders were a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line, and out-rebounded the Spires, 39-37.
Saint Mary scored the first four points of the contest, but Jordyn Miller answered with five-straight points to give the Lady Builders a 5-4 advantage with 5:42 to play in the opening period. The Spires regained the lead with a bucket at the 4:28 mark, but that was the last basket scored by either team over the next two minutes. USM ended the drought with an old-fashioned three-point play that marked the first points of a 10-2 Spire run to close the period, and Saint Mary took a 14-7 lead into the second quarter.
Southwestern tightened its defense in the second quarter. The Lady Builders limited USM to a 1-for-16 shooting performance in the period, and that one field goal came with 1:48 remaining until halftime. Southwestern's offense, meanwhile, put together a 14-2 run over the first eight minutes of the period to take a 21-16 lead with 2:09 remaining until halftime. USM's lone field goal was the final bucket of the half, but the Lady Builders went to the halftime locker room with a 21-18 lead.
Freshman Maddie Rogers opened Southwestern's second-half scoring with a three-pointer a minute into the period that gave the Lady Builders their largest lead of the game, 24-18, with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. Southwestern was limited to just four made free throws over the next five minutes, and Saint Mary found its offensive rhythm during that time. A 10-2 Spire run gave the navy-clad guests a 28-26 lead at the 4:21 mark. A pair of Miller free throws, and a Kenzi Taylor bucket gave the Lady Builders a brief 30-28 lead with 3:28 to play, but Saint Mary scored the final 10 points of the half, and took a 38-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Senior Me'Shelle Parker scored all 12 of her points in the fourth quarter. The Edmond, Okla., native opened the period with a pair of free throws, then added five-straight points to help cut the USM lead to 43-39 after a triple with 6:05 to play. Parker also scored the final five points of an 8-2 run that cut the Spire lead to 48-47 with 1:39 remaining in regulation. But that was as close as Southwestern could get. USM scored the final four points of the period, and held on for the 52-47 win.
Thursday's loss drops Southwestern to 13-16 on the season, and 9-12 in KCAC play. The Lady Builders will close the regular season Saturday, traveling to McPherson, Kan., for an essential must-win contest against the Bulldogs of McPherson College. A win would secure a trip to the post-season for Southwestern, while a loss would cause a tie for the final KCAC playoff berth. Saturday's contests is slated for 3 p.m. inside the Sport Center.