Score: Evangel 79, #20 William Penn 89 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (12-9, 10-6); William Penn (16-5, 12-4)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A second-half rally saw the Evangel women's basketball team fall 89-79 to No. 20 William Penn Saturday afternoon in Heart Conference action.
The Crusaders (12-9, 10-6) led for most of the contest before William Penn (16-5, 12-4) rallied back in the second half. Evangel had built a 16-point lead just before halftime and took a 41-33 lead into the locker room.
"We came out with a lot of energy initially," said head coach Megan Leuzinger. "We didn't knock our free throws down and got away from some of our defensive principles. Also, we didn't key on specific matchups that we needed to going into today's game to be successful"
The tide flipped in the second half as the Statesmen couldn't miss. William Penn shot 73 percent from the field as they took the lead with 1:46 left in the third quarter and never looked back.
A pair of Kylee Moore free throws with 39 seconds left pulled the deficit to six at 85-79. Evangel was forced to continue to foul as William Penn extended the lead back out to finish off the game.
"I liked our energy and fight in the first half, but we didn't maintain that in the second half," Leuzinger added. "We have to regroup and be ready for a tough game on Wednesday."
Lexie Vaught led Evangel with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Alexis Cauthon added 18 points. Cauthon helped the Crusaders build a first-half lead knocking down four three-pointers in the first half.
After shooting 50 percent in the first half, Evangel shot just 35 percent in the second and went 4 of 14 from behind the arc.
William Penn was led by Kate Ylitalo who scored 25 points and pulled down nine boards.
Evangel continues home action Wednesday night against No. 9 Central Methodist. Tipoff from the Ashcroft Center 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.