CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – SIUE women's basketball dropped to 15-12 overall and 12-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference Saturday with a 72-62 loss at Southeast Missouri.
The Cougars pulled to within six points in the fourth quarter after being down by as much as 20 against the Redhawks, who improved to 13-15 overall and 8-8 in the OVC.
Despite a game-high 21 points from SIUE's Lauren White, the Cougars' offense shot 29.4 percent from the field for the game (15-51). SEMO was quite the opposite, draining 25 of 48 shots from the field (52.1 percent).
"We're not slowing down, finishing shots and making good passes," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "I know we're better than that."
The Cougars have just two games left in the regular season to get back to the way Buscher prefers her team to play. SIUE meets Austin Peay Wednesday with a 7 p.m. start at the Vadalabene Center for Senior Day. The regular season closes out next Saturday at Eastern Illinois with a 1 p.m. tip-off.
"It's my job right now to get the ship turned around and in the right direction with the remaining games we have left," said Buscher.
Tesia Thompson sparked the Redhawks with 17 points, leading four SEMO players in double figures. Adrianna Murphy poured in 15 off the bench while starters Deja Jones and Iyanna McCurdy provided 10 points each.
SEMO provided 24 turnovers and was called for 29 fouls. SIUE finished 28 of 39 from the free throw line, but their woes from the field included 4-of-19 shooting from three-point range.
After being down 40-26 at halftime, Buscher looked for her team to make a push.
"We had a lot of opportunities there," said Buscher. "I felt like in the third quarter, we just needed to chip away at the lead. And we didn't chip away."
SEMO extended its lead to 57-37 after three periods. SIUE's late push that included plenty of full-court pressure wasn't enough to make it past the Redhawks.
"I have to get our team back to playing our style of basketball," added Buscher.
NOTES: White pulled closer to becoming the third player this season to pass the 1,000-point mark. After her 21 Saturday, she needs 43 more for 1,000. Donshel Beck and Gwen Adams passed that mark earlier this season.