Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
ROMEOVILLE – Lewis University’s women’s basketball team dropped the back end of a home and home series against Illinois Springfield, 63-62, on Thursday evening. The Flyers drop to 7-4 overall and in the GLVC while the Prairie Stars improve to 4-3 overall and in the conference.
Lewis fell behind by five less than a minute into a game and were still down by four near the midway point of the quarter. Jenna Badali (Oak Lawn, Ill./Mother McAuley) sparked the Flyers scoring eight of the team’s next 10 points to give Lewis a five-point lead with less than four minutes in the stanza. That lead eventually grew to six by the end of the quarter.
UIS opened the second frame on a 10-0 run to regain the lead at 23-19 on a layup from Brianna Mefford. The Flyers responded with a 10-4 run of its own to retake the lead at 29-27 on a three-pointer from Kaitlyn Williams (Homer Glen, Ill./Joliet Catholic) with 1:15 left in the half but a layup on the ensuing possession from Ellie Mitchell sent the teams into the locker room tied at 29 at halftime.
Lewis opened the second half with a 9-4 run to take a 38-33 lead on a fastbreak basket from Badali less than three minutes into the quarter. The Flyers extended their lead to as many as seven in the late stages of the quarter, but the Prairie Stars closed the quarter scoring five of the final six points to cut Lewis’ lead to 48-45 heading into the final 10 minutes.
The two sides swapped leads in the final frame as UIS opened the quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 53-50 lead but the Flyers countered with seven straight of their own to regain the lead at 57-53 on a jumper from Kathryn Schmidt (Hampshire, Ill./Burlington Central).
Lewis still lead 61-59 after a fastbreak layup from Stephanie Hart (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) with 2:50 remaining but the Prairie Stars came right back scoring four points in the span of 0:31 to retake at 63-61 with 2:06 left. The Flyers got some crucial stops on the defensive end but were unable to capitalize on those chances.
Lewis had a chance to tie the game with 0:36 remaining but Badali hit 1-of-2 at the foul line to cut the margin to one. After a timeout and advancement by UIS the Flyers forced a turnover as Hart came away with the steal.
The Flyers had two chances to win the game but Schmidt’s three from the left wing was off the mark and Badali’s running jumper from the right baseline came up short as the clock ran out.
Lewis finished the game shooting 42 percent (21-for-50) from the floor, was 8-of-24 from three and shot 71 percent at the foul line. It forced UIS into 18 turnovers, recorded 14 steals and outscored them 20-12 in points off turnovers.
Schmidt led all scorers with 19 points and was joined in double figures by Badali with 14 while Williams added 12 off the bench.
The Prairie Stars ended the game shooting 39.6 percent (21-for-53) from the field, were 4-of-13 from three and shot 77 percent at the charity stripe. They outrebounded the Flyers 36-26 in the contest and outscored them 32-18 in points in the paint.
Malae Jackson and Makenna Fee led UIS with 17 and 12 points respectively and Jackson had a game-high seven rebounds.
The Flyers are back in action this Saturday (Jan. 16) hosting Indianapolis at 1 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday (Jan. 23) but was moved up a week due to COVID concerns with other teams in the conference.