BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Valerie Finnin scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, but the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's basketball team could not match the offense of Cal State Bakersfield on the road Saturday afternoon, falling 94-68.
"We got down a little bit early and did not bounce back," said SIUE Head Coach Amanda Levens. "We were not as resilient as we needed to be."
The road woes for the Cougars continue as they fall to 1-10 away from Edwardsville this season and 9-17 overall.
Finnin, a freshman from Mokena, Ill., connected on 6 of 7 shots from behind the arc to lead the Cougar offense, and finished in double figures for the first time in her career. Finnin finished 7 of 11 from the field.
"Valerie played fantastic," added Levens. "She did a good job of getting herself shots against CSBU's pressure zone. It was good to see her have a big night for us."
CSBU, now 18-11, hit three early three-point baskets in the opening four minutes of the game for 13-2 lead, and extended the lead to 22-4 with 12:59 to play.
The quick tempo of the Roadrunner offense caused problems for SIUE as they closed the first half on a 9-2 run for a 46-21 lead.
"We did not get enough stops, and did not go a good job of executing the game plan, which was to play great team defense."
The Roadrunners outscored the Cougars 15-0 in the fast break, most of which came off turnovers. CSBU scored 33 points off 18 SIUE turnovers.
After the Runners scored the opening six points of the second half, Finnin caught fire from behind the arc connecting on three three-pointers from the baseline in a span of 2:20 to cut the deficit to 54-35.
Sophomore Raven Berry converted a pair of free throws a minute later to get SIUE to within 17 at 56-39. SIUE had chances to get back into game but turned the ball over too many times in the second half.
"I thought we played aggressively and battled in the second half, unfortunately, it was too little, too late," said Levens.
The Roadrunners controlled play the rest of the game and closed out the Senior Day win 94-68.
CSBU had five players reach double-figure scoring led by 20 from Amber Williams. Tyonna Outland scored 16 off the bench, while Kristine Herman and Breanna Fields added 14. Fields dished out 11 assists to record the double-double. Nikki Leon added 13 points for the Roadrunners.
Sophomore Michaela Herrod recorded a double-double for the Cougars with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Berry also reached double figures with 11 points.
SIUE's leading scorer Jazmin Hill was held to a season-low one point in the loss. The Cougar bench scored 35 of the team's 68 points.
SIUE will continue its season-ending road trip with three games in Ft. Myers, Fla., March 4-6.