By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
Turnovers proved too much to overcome for the Lady Colonels (7-7, 1-1 OVC) in their 73-69 overtime loss to SIU Edwardsville (7-6, 1-1 OVC) Saturday in McBrayer Arena.
The win, SIUE’s fourth-straight over EKU, snapped the Lady Colonels’ six-game home win streak and also broke a three-game losing skid for the Lady Cougars.
The Lady Colonels’ 29 turnovers helped the Lady Cougars overcome a nine-point first-half deficit and eventually take a 36-35 lead.
The two teams then traded leads nine times, with the Lady Cougars pulling out to a four-point, 55-51, lead with 1:58 left in regulation.
A basket by Brittany Coles and two free throws by Alex Jones tied it at 55-55 with just less than a minute to play.
Courtney Kinner gave SIUE a 57-55 lead with 33 seconds to go, but Coles tied the game with a layup with 2.1 seconds to go to force the extra period.
The Lady Cougars outscored EKU 7-1 to begin the overtime to take control of the game and the Lady Colonels could never climb back in it.
Senior Jade Barber led four Lady Colonels in double figures with 18 points, while also pulling down nine rebounds. Brittany Coles added 16 points and Raechele Gray had 13 points, four rebounds, four steals and five assists and Marie Carpenter had 10 points, three rebounds and three steals.
Alex Jones had seven points and nine rebounds, Jalisa Bryant had three points and Shelly Harper had two points.
EKU coach Chrissy Roberts was disappointed with her team’s play one game after their best performance of the season Monday against Murray State.
“We competed, but the thing you see on the stat sheet is the 29 turnovers. You can’t turn it over 29 times in a game, it’s way too many. I’m surprised we were still in the game,” Roberts said. “We missed some shots that here recently we made and that is just focusing and finishing. They are a physical team and they challenged us and we just needed to step up and make some plays.”
The Lady Colonels got into some foul trouble late in the first half which forced several starters to sit out the final few minutes of the half.
That was when SIUE began their comeback, outscoring EKU 9-0 to end the half to tie the game at 32-32 inside the final minute of the half.
Roberts said she liked what she saw defensively out of the reserves while they were in the game, but the team also needs some offensive output from the group.
“We did get in some foul trouble early, but I thought we got some solid play from some of our players off the bench on the defensive end,” Roberts said. “We’ve just got to get some more out of them on the offensive end and I think that is just settling down, relaxing and playing.”
The Lady Colonels will be back in action Monday when they take on Eastern Illinois at 7 p.m. in McBrayer Arena.