EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Five Southern Illinois University Edwardsville players scored in double figures Wednesday as the women's basketball Cougars downed IPFW 72-61 at the Vadalabene Center.
It was the most players to score in double figures for SIUE in more than three years. Michaela Herrod led the charge with 16 points. Raven Berry and Courtney Kenner added 12. Jazmin Hill and Sydney Stahlberg scored 11 apiece.
The Cougars achieved the balance by pushing the ball into the paint. SIUE scored 46 of its 71 points in the paint.
"I thought our team did a good job of executing the game plan. We wanted to get it into our posts," said SIUE Head Coach Amanda Levens.
SIUE improved to 8-15 with the victory. IPFW was playing its final non-conference game of the season and is challenging for the lead in Summit League. The Mastodons fell to 17-7 overall with the loss.
Stahlberg helped the Cougars control the boards, winning the rebounding battle 45-33. Stahlberg, a senior, tied her career high with 15 rebounds.
"She is an extremely determined player and has a great knack for the ball," Levens said.
"Our goal was to take a great shot every possession. I thought our team passed up good shots to get great shots."
The two teams were close early, exchanging the lead nine times in the first 12 minutes of the game. SIUE went on an 8-0 run to push the lead to seven at 27-20 and didn't look back.
SIUE held a 37-25 lead at the break, its biggest halftime lead of the season.
"We definitely spread the ball around and played unselfish," Levens said.
The Cougars nearly doubled that halftime lead by making a 15-4 run to start the second half. SIUE led 52-29 on a layup by Alyssa Decker.
"Our goal was to take a great shot every possession. I thought our team passed up good shots to get great shots," Levens said.
IPFW was led by 18 points from Chelsey Jackson. Rachel Zuppe pumped in 14 points while Sydney Weinert added 13. The Mastodons inched their way back but could only come within nine points on three free throws by Zuppe with 29 seconds left.
"We knew they weren't going to fold. It was important for us to go right back at them. We did," said Levens.