Strong Start for Stephens Not Enough in 73-54 Loss to Williams BaptistStars' Seleena Neal finishes with game-high 23 points; senior Jenna Zmyslony has career day on offense and defense
Feb. 15, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. – (Box Score) The Stephens College basketball team (0-23, 0-17 AMC) got off to one of its best starts all season, but Williams Baptist (12-11, 8-9 AMC) had enough left in the tank to win comfortably at home, 73-54. Up by a slim margin at halftime, the Eagles went on to outscore Stephens 40-24 and spoiled the Stars’ chance at an upset bid.
Despite the loss, Saturday’s game was a far cry from the first meeting between the two teams in Columbia. Back on Jan. 11, the Eagles ran away with a 90-33 victory at Silverthorne Arena.
This time around, the Stars were well within reach halfway through the contest. Sophomore Seleena Neal and senior Jenna Zmyslony scored 13 of the first 15 points for Stephens and helped knot the game at the 8:53 mark, 15-15.
Williams Baptist made the next move, throwing together a 13-3 run to take its largest lead of the half (10). Luckily, the relentless Stars were down, but not out. Neal completed an and-1 opportunity, while sophomore Dana Heggemann got in on the action with a 3-pointer and another successful and-1 conversion.
Heading into halftime, the Stars trailed 33-30, with all 30 points coming from Neal (16), Heggemann (8) and Zmyslony (6).
Stephens was unable to carry the momentum into the second half. Williams Baptist used a 14-2 stretch to begin the period and pulled ahead 47-32. Zmyslony helped narrow the gap to 12, but that was the closest the Stars would get.
In front of their home crowd, the Eagles went on to shoot 15-of-30 (.500) from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the second half. WBC finished the game with five players in double figures, led by forward Cheyenne Childers (17) and guard Kimberly Wise (16).
On the day, the Stars were a solid 8-of-19 (.421) from beyond-the-arc and 80 percent from the charity stripe.
Seleena Neal knocked down a trifecta of the team’s 3-point field goals and totaled 23 points on the day. It marked the 11th game this season that she has reached the 20-point plateau.
Senior guard Jenna Zmyslony, who finished with 16 points, had one of the best all-around performances of her career, tying career highs in 3-pointers made (3), rebounds (7) and blocks (2), while finishing one point shy of a personal best in scoring.
Heggemann joined Neal and Zmyslony in double digits with 11 points to go along with four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The Stars will return home for a pair of mid-week game against Park and No. 12 Columbia College on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Both games are set for 7 p.m. start times.