Statesmen Falter Late in Failed Upset of MNU

Oskaloosa–Holding a double-digit lead and seeking to deliver the knockout punch against the league leaders, the William Penn women’s basketball team came up short in a 61-47 loss to #15 MidAmerica Nazarene in Heart of America Athletic Conference action Monday.

WPU (10-8, 10-7 Heart) led by 10 points entering the fourth quarter, but could not hold a vicious rally by the Pioneers (15-3, 15-2 Heart) who top the conference by a full game over Clarke (13-2).

The navy and gold gave the visitors all they could handle for most of the evening. The first quarter was a low-scoring affair that featured one tie and four lead changes with MNU eventually leading 11-7 at the buzzer.

The margin grew to seven in the early parts of the second period, but seven unanswered by William Penn, including an unlikely three-pointer by Bailey Reardon (So., River Falls, Wis., Elementary Education), knotted the contest at 16-16. The contest remained tight as the sides hit the locker room tied at 24-24.

Back and forth the teams again went through the first half of the third stanza, until WPU, up one at 33-32, closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run. Maci Kuchta (Fr., Columbia, Mo., Biology), playing in her first outing since December 5, knocked down a trifecta, while Morgan Terry (Jr., Cornersville, Tenn., Biology) added a pair of buckets.

Owning a 42-32 advantage after 30 minutes of action, the Statesmen were shooting 41.5% from the field, while keeping the Pioneers as cold as the frozen tundra outside Penn Gymnasium at 31.0%.

Unfortunately, the final minutes belonged to MidAmerica Nazarene. A Kuchta three-pointer and a Terry lay-up in consecutive trips down the floor kept MNU at bay only momentarily, but the Pioneers hit on all cylinders on both ends of the floor to pull away.

WPU was outshot 39.7%-38.8% overall, but did own a 32-29 rebounding edge, which led to a 7-6 mark in second chance points. The matchup was decided in the turnover category, however, as WPU’s 20 mistakes were converted into 26 MNU points.

Reardon hit both of her long balls (first two of the season in fact) en route to a team-best 14 points. Fellow post player Terry was also in double figures with 12 points off the bench.

Kuchta just missed the mark in her return to the hardwood, tallying nine points with four assists and two steals. Brittany West (Sr., Shakopee, Minn., Sports Management) was good for an additional seven, while also corralling six rebounds.

The contest contained just 22 total fouls and 17 combined free throws; WPU was 4-for-6.

Next Up: William Penn remains in Oskaloosa Friday to host Central Methodist in Heart action at 5:30 p.m.

Posted by on Feb 15 2021. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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