EDWARDSVILLE - SIUE women's basketball dropped a 61-47 decision to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at First Community Arena on Monday afternoon.
Today's loss dropped SIUE to 6-17 overall and 3-15 in the OVC, while Tennessee Tech improved to 14-7 overall and 11-6 in the OVC.
The Cougars and Gamecocks both shot 34% on the day, but Jacksonville State pulled away thanks to seven made three-pointers and a 12-of-19 performance from the charity stripe. The Gamecocks also outrebounded SIUE, 53-32. Both benches produced similar results, as the JSU bench outscored the Cougar bench, 27-25.
SIUE and Jacksonville State played to a tie at the end of the opening period. The Gamecocks entered halftime ahead by eight before a buzzer-beating shot from Ajulu Thatha gave the Cougars a narrow one-point lead to end the third period. However, JSU pulled ahead early in the final period and did not look back, as SIUE was unable to regain the lead.
"It was tough," said Head Coach Paula Buscher. "That fourth quarter was tough, but I was proud of our effort and execution. Everything we were doing in the first three quarters, I thought we were spot on - played them tight, stayed locked into defensive assignments. And then, the fourth quarter just kind of got away from us."
Allie Troeckler led the Cougars with 12 points and six rebounds, followed closely by Ajulu Thatha's nine-rebound, eight-point outing. Prima Chellis notched a career-high 11 rebounds and a team-high mark of four assists, while Mikia Keith made a pair of baskets from beyond the arc to help her score eight points on the day. As a team, the Cougars shot 34% from the field and 50% from the free throw line.
The Cougar homestand continues Thursday afternoon with a 1 p.m. fixture against UT Martin, followed by the Cougars' final game of the regular season when Southeast Missouri pays a visit to First Community Arena on Saturday.
"I think it's a great opportunity, and I look at it as an opportunity," said Buscher. "We've got two of the top teams in the league coming in. Some people might look at it differently, but it's a great opportunity. Let's go play the game and see if we can put together a full 40 minutes."