Cougar News
Women's Basketball - Mon, Jan. 28, 2013

MAYFIELD, Ky. - Sometimes in the world of sports, all a young team needs to learn how to be successful is an opportunity and a challenge. The Mid-Continent University women's hoops squad had both of those on Monday night, as they hit the road without Stephanie Malone or Lindsey Woody in tow, and the Cougars made the most of their chance.

Mid-Continent (6-15) got double-figure scoring efforts from four players - three of them freshman - as they snapped a three game losing streak on the road in Belleville, Ill., taking down the Lindenwood University-Belleville Lady Lynx 78-74.


Mid-Continent used an attack that concentrated on attacking the rim, as the Cougars scored 12 of their first 14 points in the paint, building a 14-7 lead at the 14:32 mark. Belleville came back, however, as the Lady Lynx used an 18-0 run to surge ahead 25-14 with 8:15 to play. Mid-Continent had their backs to the wall, and with only one upperclassman dressed, the young players for Mid-Continent had to step up. Still attacking the rim at full force, the Cougars began to blaze a trail to the free throw line. With 7:09 left, and Mid-Continent trailing 27-16, the Cougars began whittling away at the deficit, combining solid defense at one end of the floor, with great foul shooting on the other end. Mid-Continent made 12 of their final 13 free throw attempts of the first period, and then got back-to-back 3-pointers from Jaylin Jones and Markita Pheal - both assisted by Natalie Taylor - to draw level at intermission, 33-33. LU-Belleville siezed the momentum coming out of the locker room, building a 14-point advantage with 11:35 to play in the game, and again, the Cougars found themselves with their backs against the proverbial wall.

Again, the Mid-Continent underclassmen would lead the way back into the game. After Senior Breona Houston knocked down a pair of charity tosses with 11:16 to play, Natalie Taylor pulled MCU within 10 with a 3-point bomb, making the score 56-46. Moments later, Taylor connected on a 2-point bucket that again pulled MCU within 10, and with 7:02 remaining, another 3-ball from Taylor got Mid-Continent within seven at 60-53. Sian House tallied a bucket to get the Cougars within five, Taylor scored to pull Mid-Continent back into a one-possession game, and a traditional 3-point play from sophomore Kara Carneyhan capped a 12-0 Mid-Continent blitz that pulled the Cougars level at 60 with 5:45 left on the clock. House put Mid-Continent ahead again with 2:46 to play, scoring another bucket in the paint to give the Cougars the lead 64-62, but LU-Belleville's Bernie Brown immediately got to the line and tied the ballgame. Houston then gave the Cougarrs a 66-64 lead, only to see the Lady Lynx reclaim the lead eight second later on a long-range shot from Brooke Dunning. The teams would exchange the lead on the next three possessions, with Breona Houston giving MCU the lead for good on a basket with 41 ticks of the clock remaining at 70-69. In the waning seconds, House, Houston, Jones, and Taylor would be called on to seal the win at the foul line, and the quartet connected on 8-of-10 free throws to preserve Mid-Continent's second road win of the year 78-74.

Houston - the lone upperclassman in the Mid-Continent lineup - posted her second double-double of the season, tallying a 24 points and grabbing 15 boards to lead all players in the game in both categories. Taylor added a career-high 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point land, with Jones adding 11 and House breaking into double-figures for the first time as a Cougar with 10 points. Taylor added five helpers in the game, and House blocked five shots as well. Mid-Continent out-shot Lindenwood-Belleville in all three facets of the game, converting 22-of-54 (40.7%) shots overall, 5-of-12 (41.7%) from long distance, and a season-best 29-of-33 (87.9%) from the charity stripe.

Mid-Continent will look to build on the confidence they gained from the game tonight when they return to the floor on Saturday. The Cougars should have both Malone and Woody back in the lineup, as they play host to NAIA #12 Bethel University (16-5, 1-1). Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Mayfield High School Sports Arena.