TULSA, Okla. — The Western Illinois University women’s basketball team lost to the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles on the road by a score of 71-60 last night.
The contest was the second to last game of the year for the Leathernecks’ regular season. It was still an important match-up, though, as everyone in The Summit is still jostling for position in the standings.
With this result, Western will now play for the third seed in the tournament against the Denver University Pioneers tomorrow afternoon. Oral Roberts, on the other hand, still has a chance to become the fourth seed depending on results around The Summit League.
Western just could not stop Oral Roberts down the stretch, in large part due to being out rebounded 50-32 and two double-double performances by ORU.
Senior center Montserrat Brotons led the Golden Eagles with 18 points and 11 rebounds and was followed by junior guard Keni Jo Lippe’s 13 points and 12 rebounds. Two more players dropped double digits on the night. Redshirt-senior guard Rylie Torrey put up 13 points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds while senior guard Sarah Garvie put up 12 points and seven boards.
For Western, senior guard Olivia Kauffman outscored every player on the court when she put up 20, but the team as a whole could not find a rhythm. The Leathernecks shot just below 30 percent from beyond the arc and barely above 30 percent from within. The sad part is, the Leathernecks led 52-50 entering the fourth quarter. They allowed 21 points while only scoring eight and allowed the game to get away from them.
This is when Garvie took command. She grabbed seven rebounds in the fourth, one clutch three pointer and 10 total points. She only had two points through the first three quarters. It was her performance that ultimately fueled the final minutes and led to Western’s loss.
The Leathernecks don’t have a lot of time to turn themselves around because they’ll be back on the road tomorrow night when they wrap up their regular season. They’ll take on Denver who currently sit in fourth place in The Summit.
It’s a game the Leathernecks must win because Denver is breathing down their neck. Western currently sit in third with a 9-6 conference record while Denver is 8-7. A win for Western will secure them the No. 3 seed in The Summit League Tournament that begins Friday, March 6.
The game against Denver starts at approximately 4:30 p.m. as they take the court after the men’s game at 2 p.m. It’s a must win contest for both sides