White scored a game-best 18 points, including a career-best four three-pointers, and Beck contributed 17 points as the Cougars defeated Eastern Illinois 62-52 in an Ohio Valley Conference game at the Vadalabene Center.
SIUE, winning its third in succession and posting its 11th victory in its last 13 games, improved to 14-10 overall and 11-2 in the OVC. The second-place Cougars, just 1 ½ games behind league-leading Belmont, defeated Eastern Illinois for the eighth consecutive time. The Panthers, losing their eighth in a row this season, tumbled to 2-22 and 1-12.
"It's a good win for us and at times, I felt that everyone played well," SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher said. "We weren't as consistent as we have played in some games this season, but we got it done."
White and Beck, a pair of seniors, made sure the Cougars finished it off properly. They combined for more than half of the team's points. Beck also collected nine rebounds and handed out six assists. White grabbed four rebounds.
"We just had to play tougher in the second half," Beck said, alluding to the Cougars' 27-25 halftime lead. "We played more together in the second half and picked it up near the end of the game."
White said, "EIU was attacking us in the first half, and it was a challenge for us to stay in the game. I liked the energy we showed because basketball is a game of runs."
Buscher enjoyed that energy too. She has been seeing it from the Cougars often in recent games.
"We've been sharing the ball well in the last three weeks," Buscher said. "The players on the team like each other, and they care about each other. They get along with each other, and that's important."
Reserve Allie Troeckler added to the cause by making 4 of 5 shots and scoring nine points. She also had three assists.
Overall, the Cougars made 22 of 44 shots, including 5 of 16 from three-point range.
Jennifer Nehls (12 points) and Karle Pace (10 points) led the Panthers, who outrebounded the Cougars 30-28. EIU made 21 of 51 shots, with 5 of 20 coming from beyond the arc. The Panthers sank 5 of 13 free throws.
"Give Eastern Illinois a lot of credit," Buscher said. "They grind on you and do things a little differently than some other teams do."
White's 10 first-half points paced the Cougars, owning that slim two-point margin at the break. SIUE led by no more than seven points twice in the first half. The Cougars stretched their advantage to 50-40 with 9:12 remaining in the game and then traded points with the Panthers most of the rest of the way.
"We keep working together and everybody is contributing," Beck said. "We need that, and it's great to see everybody on the same page."
The Cougars go for a sweep of their four-game home swing Saturday when they welcome Murray State at 6 p.m.