Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Lewis University’s women’s basketball team struggled to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter of its 63-52 loss at Southern Indiana on Saturday afternoon at Screaming Eagles Arena. The loss snapped the Flyers (2-2, 2-2 GLVC) two-game winning streak and four-game winning streak in the series with the Screaming Eagles (4-0, 4-0 GLVC).
Lewis led 9-8 with 4:18 left in the opening quarter but would be held to one point the rest of the stanza as USI ran off four in a row to take a 12-10 lead into the second quarter.
The scoring drought for the Flyers extended into the second quarter as they were held scoreless for the 3:35 allowing the Eagles to extend their lead to 21-10.
Lewis got back into the contest quickly though hitting five threes’ in the span of 2:40 as part of a 15-2 run turning an 11-point deficit into a 25-23 lead with less than four minutes to play in the half. The lead eventually grew to five on freshman guard Jenna Badali’s (Oak Lawn, Ill./Mother McAuley) third trey of the frame. USI scored the final four points of the half to cut the Flyer lead to one at the intermission.
Lewis opened the third quarter on a 12-4 run to build its largest lead of the game at 41-32 with less than six minutes to play in the stanza. Senior guard Kaitlyn Williams (Homer Glen, Ill./Joliet Catholic) had five points in the run while freshman forward Kathryn Schmidt (Hampshiire, Ill./Burlington Central) added three and Badali and sophomore guard Zarrea Coleman (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) had two points each.
The Flyers led by five with less than three minutes to play in the quarter, but the Eagles closed the quarter strong scoring six of the final seven points to cut Lewis’ lead to 44-42 heading into the final stanza.
USI tied the score with a basket to open the final the quarter but freshman guard Taylor Gugliuzza (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West)gave the Flyers the lead right back burying a three. That basket would be Lewis’ lone basket of the final quarter as they missed their final 11 shots from the floor.
The Eagles went on a 10-1 run to regain the lead at 54-48 as they pounded the ball inside. Badali brought the Flyers back within four at 54-50 with less than three minutes to play but USI made five of its last eight free throws and got a layup from Emma DeHart to pull away for the victory.
Lewis was held to less than 30 percent shooting (17-for-57) from the field, was 10-of-35 (28.6 percent) from three and shot just 40 percent (8-for-20) at the foul line. The Flyers forced 19 turnovers and turned those into 16 points.
Badali led all scorers with a career-high 18 points while Gugliuzza finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Grace Hilber (Sun Prairie, Wis./Sun Prairie) added seven points off the bench while Schmidt and Williams had five points apiece.
Lewis concludes its three-game road trip next Saturday (Dec. 12) traveling to Springfield, Ill., to take on the Prairie Stars of Illinois Springfield at 1 p.m.