EDWARDSVILLE – SIUE women's basketball hustled back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter but Kansas City held on Saturday for an 89-81 victory at First Community Arena.

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Kansas City, 3-1, hit 14 three-pointers against the Cougars, including 10 in the first half.

"We weren't playing aggressive defensively," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "We were a little bit passive in guessing instead of having that 'ditcate' mindset."

Kansas City's Naomie Alnatas, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to put the Roos up 52-36.

"We let them be the aggressors rather than us being the aggressors, said SIUE's Mikala Hall.

The Roos held a double-digit lead for most of the third quarter.

SIUE, now 2-2 overall, made an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter behind Masyn McWilliams, Mikia Keith and Hall that cut Kansas City's lead from 21 down to 10.

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"As disappointed as I was in our defense in the first two quarters, the growth piece for this group is that we came back," said Buscher.

The Cougars grabbed the confidence in the second half from Kansas City, hitting 11 three-pointers overall with three from Hall and three from McWilliams.

As a team, SIUE shot 50.9 percent from the field (29-57) and 50 percent from three-point range (11-22). Kansas City finished 55.7 percent from the field (34-61).

"You saw a great drive from our team," said Buscher. "I'm going to give our team a whole lot of credit for what we came out and did in the second half."

Buscher said that early-season confidence from the second half will help translate in the future.

With Hall leading the team in scoring with 16 points, SIUE finished with four players scoring in double figures. Mikayla Kinnard scored 15 with a team-leading four assists. McWilliams collected a season-high 12 while Allie Troeckler added 11 and a game-best eight rebounds.

Kansas City had five players in double figures with Alnatas (23), Paie Bradford (19), Sanaa' St. Andre (16), Emily Ivory (11) and Ravon Nero (10).

Next up for the Cougars is the Ohio Valley Conference opener. SIUE travels to Eastern Illinois Dec. 18 for a 6 p.m. contest in Charleston, Ill.

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