NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s basketball team fell to Jacksonville State 71-59 in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium.
“We’ve been up and down this season, and I thought we fought so hard the last three or four weeks to have this opportunity,” said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. “I thought we were playing some good basketball and unfortunately today – and I give Jacksonville State credit for it as well – I don’t think we stepped out and had our best performance.”
Tierny Austin led three SIUE players in double figures with 18 points. It was the junior guard’s 11th time that she has led the Cougars in scoring this season. She will begin her senior season 27th on SIUE’s all-time scoring list with 878 points.
Micah Jones, a member of the OVC All-Newcomer team, was second in scoring with 15 points. She completed her freshman season as the team’s top scorer during the OVC season.
CoCo Moore joined Austin and Jones in double figures with 10 points.
SIUE completed the season with an 11-19 record, having won six of its last eight games.
“I want to give a lot of credit to our seniors (Valerie Finnin, Jazmin Hill, and Ashley Capotosto),” said Buscher. “About three weeks ago, we ha d a little heart-to-heart after practice, and I told them there was really only two directions to go. As a senior class, you leave giving that full effort and showing the underclassmen how hard our expectations are of playing and the style of play.”
Finnin said she played her final game with no regrets.
“It’s been an awesome experience,” Finnin said. “I don’t regret anything. It’s been the best experience. It’s been fun seeing myself grow over the past four years as well as the underclassmen below me.”
Jacksonville State, 13-17, advanced as the No. 6 seed in the tournament and will play Tennessee Tech Thursday in the OVC quarterfinals.
The Gamecocks shot 49.2 percent from the field for OVC Coach of the Year Rick Pietri. A balanced offensive attack included five players in double figures, including 18 points from Destany McLin, 14 from Candace Morton and 10 each from Briana Benson, Miranda Cantrell, and Destiny James.
— Jazmin Hill completed her collegiate career with 941 points and is No. 21 on the all-time scoring list. She added two final 3-pointers and finished as No. 2 on SIUE’s all-time 3-pointers list with 187.
— SIUE is now 1-2 all-time in the OVC Tournament