Photo by Neil Faux/@FauxFx
MARSHALL, Texas- 28 forced turnovers and 70 shooting attempts could not make up for 11 missed layups on Saturday afternoon for the 10th-ranked UMHB women’s basketball team. And that was Mark Morefield biggest critique of his team’s performance as he spoke postgame.
“We missed eight uncontested layups,” Morefield said simply postgame. “That’s 16 points right there.”
The struggles simply compounded on one another, with UMHB making just 19 of those 70 shots, in addition to being outrebounded for the first time this season. The result was a 66-59 victory for ETBU, who improved to 7-2 with the win, while UMHB suffered its first defeat of the year, dropping to 5-1.
“We forced 28 turnovers and took 27 more shots than them, so I feel it’s kind of feel it’s more on us than them,” Morefield noted.
How it happened
Though the Crusaders rallied late, time ran out. A short-range shot followed by a layup from ETBU’s Mollie Dittmar made it an 19-point lead for the Tigers with 9:15 in the fourth quarter. UMHB, in turn, responded by slowly chipping away at the deficit, taking advantage of what opportunities it could. With 4:51 left, Arieona Rosborough connected on a three-pointer, cutting the margin back to single digits for the first time since midway through the third quarter, at 57-49.
Three minutes and 20 seconds later, Jaycie Brisco’s layup cut the ETBU lead to just five, 60-55, and UMHB was back in contention, momentum building. But the Cru missed three of its final four shots in the last 1:37, along with a pair of free throws, while ETBU used four made free throws and a Brooke Webster layup to maintain its advantage.
ETBU led for 82 percent of the game, racing out to a 6-0 lead by the 5:25 mark of the first quarter. UMHB missed its first six shots, four of which were three-point attempts, before getting on the board with Lauren Baker’s jumper with 4:58 left in the opening period.
From there, the Cru stepped up, cutting into the Tigers’ lead, trailing by just four, 13-9, at the end of the first quarter.
Outscoring ETBU 17-13 in the second quarter led to a tied score at halftime, with UMHB putting together its best offensive stretch, statistically speaking, as the Crusaders converted on 41 percent of their 16 shots.
But the Tigers came out of halftime with a vengeance, putting 22 points on the board compared to UMHB’s six. They led 48-32 as the fourth began, a sizable advantage that came about quickly, considering Kirsten Zaruba’s three-pointer for UMHB made it a three-point game with 5:59 in the third. But a 16-3 scoring run from ETBU gave the Tigers both confidence and momentum, as they held off UMHB’s late fourth-quarter surge.
“You’re going to have shooting days like that, where you shoot 27 percent, but I think the biggest irritable thing is the amount of easy bank shots, and layups we missed,” Morefield added. “We can’t have that. We’re better than that. We’ll be better prepared and ready for next weekend.”
The Crusaders host Howard Payne and Sul Ross State in a set of ASC contests on Thursday and Saturday of next week, respectively. HPU is 0-4 in ASC play, 2-8 overall, while SRSU is 6-4, with a 3-1 mark in conference action.
“I think a lot of teams would take a 5-1 record if their first six games were on the road. Maybe the road caught up to us a little bit today. It was just one of those days. But trust me, we’re not going to turn a blind eye to it.”