Third-quarter run propels SLU past UIW, 65-54

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HAMMOND, La. – Behind a dominant performance on the glass and a 15-0 third-quarter run, the Southeastern Louisiana women’s basketball team earned a 65-54 Southland Conference victory over Incarnate Word Wednesday night in the University Center.

The win was the fifth in the past seven games for the Lady Lions (6-17, 5-7 Southland). All eight Southeastern players that saw action scored and SLU finished with a 45-32 rebounding advantage on the way to sending visiting UIW (3-19, 2-9 Southland) to its eighth straight loss.

“When we’ve shared the basketball and gotten everyone involved offensively is when we’ve had the most success this season,” Southeastern head coach Ayla Guzzardo said. “We can’t have just one or two people score all our points. We have to do it together and a lot of different people stepped up and hit shots for us tonight.”

The Southeastern rebounding effort was paced by sophomore guard Tyler Morrison, who grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, and senior guard Taylin Underwood, who matched a career-high with 10 rebounds and recorded her third career double-double.

“As small as we are, rebounding has been one of our main concerns this season,” Guzzardo said. “Tyler and Taylin both pulling down double-digit rebounds for us tonight from the guard position was huge. Tyler, in particular, has really dedicated herself to rebounding in the past few weeks and she’s been a consistent contributor on the glass.”

Neither team could gain an early advantage through the first half, as SLU went into halftime with a 33-30 lead. Southeastern shot 48.3 percent (14-for-29) from the floor in the opening half behind six points apiece from freshman forward Caitlyn Williams, freshman wing Morgan Carrier and sophomore guard Charliee Dugas. But UIW forced SLU into 13 turnovers in the opening half to keep within striking distance.

Southeastern took control of the game for good in the third quarter. A layup by junior center Quincy Baker cut the Lady Lion lead to 37-34 with 6:56 left in the period.

SLU answered with a 15-0 run over the next two-plus minutes. Underwood scored nine points during the run, while junior guard Ashailee Brailey and sophomore guard Jaclyn Scholvin each netted treys to help the Lady Lions extend its commanding lead to 52-34 with 4:32 remaining in the period.

Southeastern would go into the final 10 minutes with a 56-43 advantage. Freshman forward Olivia Noah hit three fourth-quarter three-point field goals to help UIW’s comeback hopes, but the Cardinals could get no closer than seven as Morrison iced the game from the free throw line in the final minute.

Underwood and Caitlyn Williams shared game-high scoring honors with 13 points each for SLU. In addition to notching a double-double, Underwood led the Lady Lions with six assists and tied her own single-season school record with her 73rd three-point field goal of her career, matching her season total from each of her previous two seasons.

Carrier and Dugas added eight points off the bench, Scholvin finished with seven points, Brailey and junior forward Kyla Williams chipped in six points each and Morrison finished with four points to go with her game-high rebounding effort.

Noah led UIW off the bench with 11 points and was joined in double figures by Baker, who notched 10 points. Junior guard Gabbi Bowie and senior guard Haley Frias led the Cardinals with five rebounds each. Bowie also finished with a team-high three assists, while Frias led all players with three steals.

Southeastern will play its next two games on the road. On Saturday, SLU heads to McNeese for a 1 p.m. league contest in Lake Charles. The game will be broadcast live in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9), online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the TuneIn Radio app.

Incarnate Word 54 (3-19, 2-9 Southland)
Baker 5-6 0-1 10, Bowie 2-7 2-3 6, Frias 1-7 2-2 5, Robinson 2-7 2-2 6, Merritt 1-7 2-2 5, Busby-Leija 1-4 0-0 2, Speer 1-2 0-0 2, McBride 2-3 1-1 5, Holter 0-3 2-2 2, Noah 3-8 2-2 11. Totals 18-54 13-14 54.
Southeastern Louisiana 65 (6-17, 5-7 Southland)
C. Williams 6-15 1-3 13, Underwood 4-10 4-4 13, Scholvin 3-5 0-0 7, Morrison 0-7 4-4 4, Brailey 2-7 0-0 6, K. Williams 3-5 0-0 6, Carrier 3-3 0-0 8, Dugas 3-10 2-2 8. Totals 24-62 11-13 65.
End of 1st Quarter – SLU 17, UIW 15. Halftime – SLU 33, UIW 30. End of 3rd Quarter – SLU 56, UIW 43. 3-point goals – UIW 5-21 (Noah 3-6, Frias 1-6, Merritt 1-3, Robinson 0-2, Bowie 0-1, Busby-Leija 0-1, Speer 0-2, Holter 0-1), SLU 6-20 (Brailey 2-4, Carrier 2-2, Underwood 1-6, Scholvin 1-2, Dugas 0-4, C. Williams 0-1, Morrison 0-1). Technical Fouls – None. Fouled Out – None. Rebounds – UIW 32 (Bowie, Frias 5), SLU 45 (Morrison 12). Assists – UIW 9 (Bowie 3), SLU 15 (Underwood 6). Total Fouls – UIW 22, SLU 18. A – 415.

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