MOREHEAD, Ky. – SIUE women's basketball fought back from 10-point halftime deficit but Morehead State pulled out a 69-66 victory Saturday at Johnson Arena.
Lauren White led the Cougars for the second straight game with 16 points, including a three-pointer with two ticks left on the clock at the end of the game. Gwen Adams was the only other player in double figures for the Cougars with 14 points.
"We need to put together a 40-minute game," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "I love our fight, but there's times I feel like we shouldn't be fighting from behind if we do what we need to do."
SIUE dropped to 5-11 overall and 1-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Cougars were bidding to hand Morehead State its first OVC loss of the season but the Eagles improved to 14-3 overall and 4-0 in league play.
Eriel McKee sparked the Eagles with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, both team highs. She was one of four players scoring in double figures for Morehead State, which hit nine three-pointers.
Morehead State gained the lead in the first half behind the bench play of KayK Tate and Brianna McQueen, who each had nine points in the opening 20 minutes.
SIUE was down 34-24 at halftime but all but erased the lead in the third period. Nakiah Bell hit a three-pointer with no time left to put the Cougars behind 51-50 with 10 minutes left.
"I loved our fight, but I did not like that we were not rebounding the way we needed to, especially in the first half," added Buscher.
The Cougars held two brief leads in the fourth quarter on a layup by Donshel Beck with 9:32 left and once more on a pair of free throws by Elina Berzina with 6:17 to play. Morehead State then made a quick 7-0 run beginning with a three-pointer by McKee that put the Eagles ahead for good.
The Eagles hit the offensive boards hard for 23 rebounds and turning it into 19 second-chance points for the game.
SIUE's defense held Morehead State to just 33.8 percent (25-74) shooting. The Cougars shot 24-65 from the field (36.9 percent).
SIUE next heads to Austin Peay for a 7 p.m. contest Wednesday in Clarksville, Tennessee.