DeLAND, Fla. – Donshel Beck scored a career-high 27 points Monday, but the SIUE women's basketball team dropped the opener of the Hatter Classic 78-68 to host Stetson.
Beck shot 11 of 19 from the field and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Her previous career high was 26 points against UT Martin last season.
"Donshel played hard," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "She played hard for all of her 34 minutes today. She has fight in her and was a big spark for us."
The Cougars dropped to 3-8 overall and next face Bethune-Cookman in a 2 p.m. CT matchup at the Hatter Classic.
Stetson, 11-2, used a strong third period to push past the Cougars. SIUE made a run in the fourth period but fell short.
"I still love our fight," said Buscher. "We have another opportunity tomorrow."
The Cougars were down 39-35 at halftime, but the Hatters scored the first seven points of the second half and surged to an 11-point lead. Stetson also took advantage of some foul trouble in SIUE's backcourt.
"We were taking some quick shots that turned into transition baskets for them," said Buscher. "That's when I feel like Stetson is at its best."
Brianti Saunders led four players scoring in double figures for Stetson with 23 points. Stetson shot 47.4 percent for the game (27-57) and knocked down 18 of 20 from the free throw line.
Buscher said the Cougars need to continue to look for more options on offense.
"That's part of the game of basketball," she added. "We have to push through it and get better."