Score: Our Lady of the Lake 92, Evangel 72
Records: Evangel (5-3), Our Lady of the Lake (1-1)
Location: Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Thanks to a red-hot shooting performance and a defense that forced 27 Evangel turnovers, Our Lady of the Lake handed the Crusaders a 92-72 setback Friday afternoon at the Ashcroft Center.
OLLU's Dezeree White tallied 21 of her game-high 30 points in the first half to help the Saints establish a double-digit lead. White helped stretch that advantage to 17 points by scoring the first six points of the second half.
The Saints knocked down 50 percent (38-of-76) of their attempts from the field, including 21-of-41 in the second half to extend the margin to as many as 23 points late in the contest. White finished with nine rebounds, six steals and four assists to go along with her career-high scoring effort.
The OLLU defense enjoyed a strong afternoon as well, forcing a season-high 27 turnovers by the Crusaders, who shot just 0.342 (25-of-73) for the game, including 7-of-27 (0.259) from beyond the three-point arc.
Despite the 20-point final margin, the Saints had to battle back from a pair of first-quarter deficits to gain the upper hand. OLLU grabbed its first lead with a string of seven unanswered points after EU scored the first six points of the contest on back-to-back Bayley Harman three-pointers.
EU responded with a 7-0 run of its own to claim a 21-14 advantage, riding two more Harman baskets and a Logan Jones trey to its largest lead of the game.
But the Saints answered with nine straight points, five of which came from White. OLLU then tallied the first nine points of the second period after a Sadie Chisum jumper at the buzzer trimmed EU's deficit to 24-23 to close the quarter.
White connected on her first five field goal attempts en route to going 7-of-12 for 21 points in the opening half. She also went 4-of-4 at the foul line over the first five minutes of the second and drained a key three-pointer that handed OLLU a 39-30 lead with 4:07 to play in the half.
OLLU would hold EU without a field goal over the final 4:32 of the half, as a White basket and an Angeline Sanchez three-pointer combined to send the Saints to the locker room with a 44-33 lead.
White and the Saints wasted no time in expanding their advantage at the start of the third period. White scored three times over a span of 35 seconds, before Zerina Shatri's putback of her own miss at the 7:46 mark gave OLLU a 17-point lead.
The Crusaders momentarily cut the gap to 11 points on three-pointers by Zoey Mullings and Logan Jones, but Shatri scored on the Saints' ensuing possession to ignite a 16-5 scoring run that would ultimately double the OLLU lead and extinguish EU's hopes for a comeback.
Evangel would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Shatri complemented White's big afternoon with a 6-of-9 shooting effort for 12 points, while Natalia Trevino added 11 points for the Saints.
Vogts led EU with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her Heart Conference-leading fifth double-double of the season. Harman also finished in double digits in both scoring and rebounding, finishing with 11 points and 13 boards.
Evangel returns to action Jan. 4, with a 4 p.m. home contest against Harris-Stowe.
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