EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Tierny Austin shot 6 of 11 from the field Wednesday and finished with a team-high 14 points but the Cougars took an 88-65 loss against UIC.
UIC guard Rachel Story led all scorers with 27 points, including five three-pointers. She shot 8 of 13 from the field and added four assists.
The Cougars dropped to 1-3 to open the season while the Flames evened their record at 2-2. SIUE is now idle until next Tuesday when it entertains IPFW at 7 p.m.
UIC opened the game with a 13-4 run and never relinquished the lead. The Flames led by as many as 18 points in the first half before Jazmin Hill, playing in her first game of the season, hit a three-point shot at the halftime buzzer to cut the lead to 43-29.
"We have a young team and it's early in the season, but we want to play a certain way," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "We want to play 100 percent for 40 minutes and we didn't do that early on to help establish a tempo for the game."
Five UIC players scored in double figures. Ruvanna Campbell and Katie Hannemann each recorded double-doubles for the Flames. Campbell finished with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Hannemann scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Megan Wallace and Emily Kobel added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for UIC.
"We started so passively and let a very athletic UIC team to get going. I have to do a better job of getting us ready to go from the start," Buscher said.
SIUE's offense worked to get back in the game in the second half. SIUE did a good job of taking care of the basketball, committing just nine turnovers for the second straight game. The Cougars cut UIC's lead to nine points at 71-62 with 5:52 left on a three-pointer by Jessie Wendt.
"We fought back in the middle of the game, but they were able to do everything they wanted to do," said Buscher. "It was a frustrating night because we didn't help ourselves at all."
Austin also would lead the Cougars in rebounds with six. SIUE's Micah Jones came off the bench for 10 points and four rebounds.
UIC then regained control behind 24-of-32 shooting from the free throw line and a 49-30 advantage in rebounds.
"We need to learn from this game," Buscher said. "We'll come back tomorrow, break this down, and show the players things we need to work on. But after that, we'll move on because that's what you need to do at this point in the season."