December 5, 2018 / Lady 'Blazers fall on the road
PARK HILLS, Mo. -- The Vincennes University Women’s Basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday evening.
The Lady Trailblazers fell behind by 12 points in the first quarter and could not fully recover in road loss to District P foe Mineral Area, 78-55.
The loss drops VU to 8-4 on the season and 3-1 in district play.
“We just got off to another horrendous start,” Trailblazers veteran coach Harry Meeks said. “We are going to have to learn to get off to faster starts and learn how to play on the road.”
The Lady Cardinals jumped out to a 10-3 lead and led 22-10 after the first 10 minutes of play.
Mineral Area extended its lead to 30-16 within the first three minutes of the second, before the Trailblazers started to chip away.
Cristina De La Cruz came off the bench and scored seven straight points for the Trailblazers, giving the visitors some momentum for the first time. The sophomore guard finished the first half with a buzzer-beating layup but the Trailblazers still trailed 40-31 at intermission.
“She stepped up and stopped the bleeding for us there in the second,” Meeks said. “But that’s how she plays, she plays hard and gives you everything she has. That was about our only spark of the game...I probably should have played her more.”
The Trailblazers made another push in the third frame.
Jaynice Stovall knocked down six straight free throws to pull VU to within 45-43 with 4:28 left in the quarter. But the Trailblazers could come no closer.
“We had four straight possessions where we could have tied it up but we missed three layups on those possessions,” Meeks stated.
Mineral Area closed out the third on a 12-4 run as it led 57-47 heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Trailblazers could not find any momentum in the fourth. VU missed 14 of its 16 shots from the field in addition to five turnovers.
“I don’t think they are a better team than we are, they just had more juice than us in the second half,” the veteran coach said.
For the game, VU connected on just 5 of 25 shots from distance.
“This is a tough place to play, but we were just horrendous shooting 3’s,” Meeks said. “You are not going to win any games shooting like that. We have to get tougher on the road and learn to take better care of the basketball. We are just going to have to get back to work starting tomorrow.”
VU has dropped seven of its last eight trips to Mineral Area.
Stovall paced the Lady Trailblazers with 20 points as she finished 8-for-8 at the free throw line.
Fess Hawkins added 10 points and seven rebounds, while De La Cruz finished with nine points.
Natalia Lalic led Mineral Area (8-3, 2-0) with a game-high 25 points.
VU travels to Kaskaskia on Saturday, 2 p.m.
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MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom