Stars Surge in Second Half, Fall to Mid-Continent 59-48Twenty-point deficit too much to overcome for Stephens, despite a game-high 25 points from guard Seleena Neal
Jan. 20, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. – (Box Score) A pair of runs in the second half was not enough for the Stephens College basketball team to overtake Mid-Continent University on Monday night at Silverthorne Arena. The Stars fell to 0-15 overall, 0-9 AMC with a 59-48 loss to the Cougars of Mayfield, Ky.
Both teams got off to a slow start, which resulted in just four points scored in the first five minutes. Mid-Continent found its way onto the scoreboard first and increased its lead to six at 16-10. That’s before guard Seleena Neal and the Stars made a run of their own to tie the game at 17s.
Stephens remained within reach of the Cougars and trailed by just six points at halftime. Four different Stars scored in the first half including Neal with seven, senior Davielle McCoy with five, and sophomore Dana Heggemann and freshman Mary Harris with four apiece.
MCU’s 14-0 run to begin the second half ultimately gave the visitors a big enough cushion to prevent the Stars’ comeback bid. The Cougars extended their lead to 40-20 with 12:06 remaining, the biggest margin of the game. Fortunately, Seleena Neal ended the 7 minute, 54 second drought with a drive to hoop ending in a successful 3-point play with a trip to the line.
Gradually the Stars found a way out of their funk and narrowed the gap to 11 at 40-29. Mid-Continent answered back and thwarted a return to a single digit lead.
Powered by five points apiece from Seleena Neal and freshman Briannah Tapp, the Stars made one last ditch effort and brought the game to 55-48 at the 1:34 mark. The Cougars buckled down on defense and held Stephens scoreless the remainder of the contest.
Freshman guard Briannah Tapp, who came into the game for the first time in the second half, made an immediate impact for the Stars. The Columbia, Mo. freshman scored seven points in eight minutes of action to aid the Stars’ rally. Tapp knocked down her two free-throw attempts, was 2-of-3 from the field, and also snagged three rebounds.
Neal led all scorers for the second game in a row with 25 points. In addition to her scoring efforts, the sophomore went 7-of-7 from the charity stripe and had four rebounds and four assists.
Despite foul trouble, senior Davielle McCoy managed an extremely productive day from on both ends of the court. McCoy finished with seven points and team-highs in rebounds (13), steals (3) and blocks (2). The 13 boards marked a career-high for the LaMonte, Mo. native.
Without leading scorer Stephanie Malone (22.2 ppg) out, the Cougars relied on a team effort, including three players in double figures. Chantiera Johnson led MCU with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Stephens College basketball team finishes its homestand with the Coaches vs. Cancer “Suits & Sneakers” Fundraiser Event on Thursday evening. The Stars will host Harris-Stowe State (5-12, 3-6 AMC) at 7 p.m.