FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis Lady Cougars (9-7; 3-4 Crossroads) played host to the RV Taylor University Lady Trojans (13-3; 6-2 Crossroads) Saturday afternoon in Hutzell Athletic Center and fell 87-52 after shooting just 16 percent from beyond the three-point line.
The Lady Trojans set the tone early on by jumping out to an early 19-7 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Cougars held steady though and went on a 10-0 run to close the gap to a two-point game early in the second quarter.
Come the second though, the momentum swung back to the Lady Trojans, and the Lady Cougars were never able to snatch it back. After Saint Francis' run, Taylor went on a scoring run of their own scoring 21 of the game's next 23 points and taking a 40-19 lead going into halftime.
"We had a stretch of time in the first half where we were playing well defensively and got ourselves back in the game," Head Coach Jason Ridge said. "We missed some shots and Taylor got hot."
As the second half began, matters got worse for the Lady Cougars. The Lady Trojans entered the third quarter shooting even better than in the first half. Taylor went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc during the frame, outscored Saint Francis 32-12, and led by 41 going into the fourth.
Although the Lady Cougars outscored the Lady Trojans 21-15 in the final quarter, the deficit was too much to overcome as Saint Francis was dealt another tough loss.
"This is one of those games that happen every year or so where there is no clear reason why an outcome happened the way it did," Coach Ridge said. "I'm kind of surprised that the margin of victory was so big but not that they beat us. Taylor was great today. They shot the ball incredibly well. We'd work hard to take away the 3 point line and then they'd score on the post. We'd double the post to make them kick it out and they'd cut to the basket for a lay-up. It just felt like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong."
Throughout the game, the Lady Cougars shot 36 percent from the floor, 16 percent from beyond the arc, and 63 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Cassidy Crawford was the lone player to score double digits totaling 13 points.
"Things are tough right now," Coach Ridge said. "We've played through a stretch of really tough opponents and it's not like it's going to get any easier next week. Goshen is a really good basketball team and we have to play them twice. They are athletic, big and strong and have shot the ball really well this season. We're going to have to figure some things out quickly."
The Lady Cougars resume play on Wednesday evening when they remain home to face off against the Goshen College Maple Leafs (5-12; 3-5 Crossroads) in Hutzell Athletic Center starting at 7:00 pm.