Score: Evangel 59, Clarke 71 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (8-7, 6-4); Clarke (14-3, 8-3)
Location: Dubuque, Iowa | Kehl Center
DUBUQUE, Iowa – An early lead for the Evangel women's basketball team slipped away Saturday afternoon, 71-59, at Clarke University.
The Crusaders dropped to 8-7 on the season and 6-4 in the Heart, while Clarke improved to 14-3 overall and 8-3 in league play to hold onto sole possession of third place.
After taking a 13-10 through the first quarter, the Crusaders and Pride went back and forth before Clarke took a 29-26 lead into the locker room at halftime. The edge saw Clarke shoot 43 percent in the first half, while Evangel shot 33 percent from the field.
Quickly erasing the Clarke lead, Lexie Vaught got a layup at the 6:02 mark in the third quarter to put Evangel up 33-31. Vaught finished with six points, nine boards and five steals in the loss.
"We knew coming into this game, that we needed to shut down key people," said head coach Megan Leuzinger. "Unfortunately, we didn't do that tonight. We let (Makenna) Haase have control the entire game."
Clarke would regain the lead with 3:12 left in the third and use a 5-0 run to lead 51-44 at the end of the quarter. Makenna Haase helped spark each Clarke run as she finished with a double-double, 24 points, and 12 rebounds.
After four ties and four lead changes in the third quarter, Clarke would hold Evangel at bay using a 10-2 run over the final three minutes of the game.
"Unfortunately we weren't firing on all cylinders tonight offensively," Leuzinger added. "We have another tough game coming up. We have to be ready to compete for a full 40 minutes on both ends of the floor."
Evangel continues road action on Wednesday at MidAmerica Nazarene. Tipoff from Olathe, Kansas is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.