Senior day ended in disappointment for the USF women’s basketball team as they were shut down by Concordia-St. Paul at the Stewart Center on Saturday night. The Golden Bears got out to an early lead and never trailed on their way to an 87-67 victory.
With the loss, the Cougars fall to 12-14 overall and 8-14 in the NSIC while the Golden Bears improve to 21-8 on the season and 16-6 in league play.
Concordia-St. Paul stormed out of the gate in the first 15 minutes of action as they were up by 23 points with just under six minutes left in the first half. The Cougars senior players failed to go out without a fight as they mounted an offensive attack late in the first half with an 11-2 run. Each of the 11 points was scored by one of the three Cougar seniors. USF entered the locker room at half trailing by 14 points.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Golden Bears started the second half with a 12-3 run which was capped off with a Carissa Wolyniec three-point shot.
Laura Johnson led the Cougars offensive charge as she scored a team-high 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting. The senior forward also grabbed seven rebounds and rejected three Golden Bear shots. Taylor Varsho was the only other Cougar player to reach double-digit points as she scored 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting while also grabbing four rebounds and notching two steals.
Concordia-St. Paul received a surprise offensive showing from junior Ameshia Kearney who led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Anika Whiting notched the lone double-double of the afternoon’s game as she scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to record her sixth double-double this season.
USF struggled offensively as they shot only 32.8% from the field on 20-of-61 shooting. The lone bright spot for the Cougars offensively was from behind the arc as they shot 37.9% from downtown while making 11 of their 29 three-point shots. However, the Cougars prowess from three-point land was overshadowed by the Golden Bears impressive deep-range shooting as they hit 10 of their 18 (55.6%) attempts from beyond the arc.
The Cougars were dominated on the boards as the Golden Bears outrebounded USF 45-34. CU also grabbed 12 total offensive rebounds compared to only nine for the Cougars.
Next up for the Cougars will be the first-round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament where they will travel to St. Cloud, Minn. to take on the Huskies of St. Cloud State. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Halenbeck Hall.
Courtesy: Paul Watley, University of Sioux Falls Sports Information