CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Wednesday's return game between SIUE women's basketball and Southeast Missouri came down to a one-possession game in the final minute, and SEMO topped the Cougars 78-74 at the Show Me Center.
Similar to last month's last-second shot by Lauren White that propelled SIUE's one-point win over SEMO at the Vadalabene Center, Wednesday's contest came down to the final seconds. This time, SEMO's Deja Jones hit a layup with 11.3 seconds left to put SEMO ahead by the winning score.
"It was a one-possession game with 37 seconds on the clock," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "We had to come up with one defensive stop, and we didn't do that. I really want to see this team make that stop at the end of the game."
The Cougars dropped to 10-15 overall and 6-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference. SEMO improved to 11-14 and 5-7 in the OVC.
The race to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament continues Saturday at the Vadalabene Center as the Cougars take on UT Martin in a 7 p.m. contest.
"We have to bounce back from this game," said Buscher. "I didn't feel like our defense was where it needed to be. I thought we were right there. We needed to make some plays, and they just made a few more."
SIUE shot 40.3 percent from the field (27-67) and picked up a game-high 19 points from Donshel Beck. Nakiah Bell pumped in 16 points, including four three-pointers, and dished out six assists. Sydney Bauman added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. White joined the top 50 scorers at SIUE all-time by adding eight points.
The game turned into a see-saw contest with 13 lead changes. SEMO held an 11-point edge over the Cougars early in the second quarter, but that evaporated quickly as SIUE went on an 18-6 run eventually leading at halftime 35-34.
The Cougars built their own lead to nine points in the second half, but a scoring surge by SEMO's Jones, Bri Mitchell and Mandy Madden put the Redhawks over the top. All three scored double digits over the final 20 minutes. Mitchell finished with 18, and Madden added 14. Jones scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half.
SEMO shot 45.8 percent from the floor (27-59) and hit 19 of 27 from the free throw line.