SIUE's Shronda Butts exploded for a game-high 30 points in a win over Morehead State.

EDWARDSVILLEShronda Butts scored a game-high 30 points Thursday as SIUE women's basketball team dropped Morehead State 90-81 at the Vadalabene Center.

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The Cougars improved to 9-9 overall and 4-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Morehead State fell to 6-12 and 0-4 in the OVC.

Butt scored 30 or more points for the fourth time this season, shooting 12 of 28 from the field and 5 of 8 from three-point range.

"She stayed calm and let the game come to her," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher of her senior guard. "We tried to set her up on set plays in the first half, but in the second half we opened up our motion and that paid off for Shronda."

SIUE scored 90 points for the second time this season, shooting 35 of 75 from the field while outrebounding the Eagles 46-44.

The Cougars went on a roller coaster ride in the first half, taking a 25-18 lead in the first period only to shoot 3 of 20 from the field in the second period, falling behind 40-34 by halftime.

"They went on such a huge run, and we were rushing things offensively," said Buscher. "We were taking quick shots, and they wanted to get up and down the court while we were trying to slow things down."

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The Eagles kept the lead for much of the third period before Butts hit a three-pointer with 3:12 to play, tying the score 57-57. Morehead State regained a 66-64 lead after free throws by Natalie Greenwell hit a pair in the final seconds of the third period.

Butts and the Cougars took over in the fourth period, shooting 10 of 16 from the field while holding Morehead State to 7 of 18 shooting. Butts scored 12 of her 30 in the fourth period. Lauren White scored eight of her 12 points over the final 10 minutes.

"Lauren relaxed and got herself open more in the second half," said Buscher.

SIUE scored 56 points in the second half, the most since scoring 50 last season against Tennessee State. CoCo Moore missed her first double-double of the season by one point with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

"I give a lot of credit to our players for coming out of the half and slowing things down," said Buscher. "What was most impressive to me was the fourth quarter and how we played defensively."

Shay Steele led the offense for Morehead State with 18 points followed by 17 from Brianna McQueen.

Buscher also credited sophomore Donshel Beck for a strong effort. She finished with 19 on 8-of-11 shooting.  Both Beck and Gwen Adams fouled out of the contest.

"Donnie was aggressive defensively and offensively," said Buscher. "When you have your starting post players foul out and still outrebound them, that's a victory."

SIUE returns to action Saturday with a 4 p.m. home contest against Eastern Kentucky.

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