Resilient Stars Surge in Second Half Against Missouri ValleyStephens basketball registered 36 second half-points, nearly twice as many as it scored in the season's first meeting with the Vikings
COLUMBIA, Mo. – (Box Score) Several positives came out of Stephens College’s 86-52 loss to Missouri Valley on Tuesday (Nov. 26), including a resilient second-half effort by the Stars. Closing out the game on an 18-8 run, the Stars nearly played the Vikings point-for-point after halftime and were outscored by just four points in the final 20 minutes.
Tuesday evening’s meeting between the two teams marked the second in less than a month. In the first matchup played in Marshall, Mo. (Nov. 8), Missouri Valley defeated the Stars 78-19. This time around was a far cry from the 69-point loss.
The first half belonged to the Vikings as they jumped out to a 46-16 lead. Stephens was limited to 12 points from the floor, along with four points from the free-throw line. Sophomore guard Seleena Neal chipped in 10 of the Stars’ 16 points heading into halftime.
Out of the break, MVC continued to push and increased its lead to as much as 45, but the Stars’ surge began with 11 minutes remaining in the ballgame. Jumpstarted by a a successful and-1 opportunity for sophomore Dana Heggemann, the Stars made a small 6-2 run that also included a pair of free throws by senior captain Davielle McCoy and a two-pointer from Neal.
Quietly, the Stars whittled away at the Vikings’ lead and did so by drawing the fouls and sinking their shots from the charity stripe. Powered by 16 Missouri Valley fouls in the second half, the Stars attempted 23 free throws and converted on 20 for an impressive 87 percent.
By the end of the game, the Stars had narrowed the Vikings margin to 30. With 1:14 remaining, the Stars had evened the second-half box score at 36-36. MVC went on to score the final four points at the free-throw line.
Heggemann led all scorers with 21 points and came up three boards short of a double-double. In addition to three assists, the sophomore from Warrenton, Mo. was a near-perfect 12-for-13 from the free-throw line. Right behind Heggemann was fellow sophomore Seleena Neal, who contributed 20 points and nine rebounds.
Senior Davielle McCoy pitched in 6 points and 6 rebounds, and played 36 minutes without a giveaway on a night where the Stars’ were plagued with turnovers (36). Senior guard Jenna Zmyslony rounded out the Stephens’ scorers with five points.
The Stars will return to the court on December 3rd with an away game at Principia College in Elsah, Ill. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.