Lady Trojans use late push to power past Wildcats - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Lady Trojans use late push to power past Wildcats

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By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer

CANTON, Mo. -- Ashleigh Spencer sprinted for the rebound as soon as the ball left her hand.

She didn't need to. When you're the most prolific scorer on the floor, sometimes the bounces go your way.

Spencer's second-half 3-pointer from the right wing bounced high off the rim, hit the backboard and dropped through the net. The triple came during a 10-0 run for the Hannibal-LaGrange University women's basketball team in its 69-61 non-conference win over Culver-Stockton on Thursday at Charles Field House.

"After (the shot) was going up, I thought ‘Man, I have to get that rebound,'" Spencer said. "It shocked me that it went in, but it was great."

Spencer, a sophomore forward from Australia, tallied game highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. She upped her season scoring average to 18.4 points per game.

The Lady Trojans (5-4) needed a late push from Spencer after C-SC took a 43-40 lead on Mimi Reaves' 3-pointer with 11 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in the second half.

Spencer responded by scoring eight straight points to spark the run that gave HLGU a lead it never relinquished. Spencer slipped a screen on the possession following her 3-pointer, received a pass from Kara Gloor and converted a layup and free throw for a conventional three-point play.

"We knew it was serious and it was time to play," Spencer said of the team's 10-0 run.

Ashley Wilson carried the load for HLGU early in the second half. She scored her team's first seven points after halftime to help it build a 32-27 lead.

"I knew I needed to step up," said Wilson, who supplied 20 points and seven rebounds. "Anything to give the team some energy, that's what I like to aim for."

C-SC (4-5) used full-court pressure to keep the game close. The Wildcats alternated between a few different full-court looks, which kept the Lady Trojans off balance.

The Wildcats forced 23 turnovers and converted them into 19 points. They also owned a 41-34 advantage on the glass. Reaves made four 3-pointers and led C-SC with 19 points and seven rebounds. Randi Lee Plunkett added 16 points.

The trouble for C-SC was shooting. The Wildcats attempted 25 more field goals than HLGU but shot just 27.1 percent from the floor.

"We did a nice job with the press," C-SC coach Melissa Young said. "Defensively I was really impressed, and we were able to translate that to a lot of shots. We just didn't shoot real well. They just weren't falling."

The Lady Trojans ultimately solved their press-break problems. They turned the ball over just three times in the final 11 minutes.

"We had our struggles throughout the game, but it was good we were able to fight through it," Wilson said.

It's the type of response HLGU coach Kelly Quigle wanted to see from her team after it briefly lost the lead.

"We were able to stay together," Quigle said. "It was kind of a battle all game long, and we kind of struggled with things, but we stayed together, and that was the biggest thing I saw out of tonight."

-- btoppmeyer@whig.com/221-3367

 

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