History was made March 15, in the Farris Center as the Sugar Bears got their first national postseason tournament win since entering Division I.
UCA (23-9, 14-4 SLC) defeated Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (17-15, 13-5 OVC) 51-39 in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. The Sugar Bears leaned on their defense to get the win, holding SIUE to a season- low point total.
However, three turnovers in UCA’s first four possessions led to the Cougars starting the game on a quick 10-2 run. After a timeout, the Sugar Bears responded by going on a 13-0 run to end the quarter with a five point lead.
UCA continued to ride the momentum into the second quarter, stretching their lead to 14 points and taking a 32-18 lead into halftime.
The third quarter played to SIUE’s favor, as they held the Sugar Bears to just five points in the frame, cutting UCA’s led to just five points entering the final quarter. To start the fourth, the Cougars scored back to back baskets, closing the lead down to 37-36 with 8:50 remaining in the game.
But again, the Sugar Bears defense would change the rhythm of the game. After another timeout, UCA held the Cougars without a field goal for the remainder of the game and only a free throw over the last 6:05.
The Sugar Bears began to rebuild their lead with a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Taylor and a three pointer from junior guard Antonija Bozic, before pulling away for the 12 point victory.
UCA held SIUE’s All-OVC senior guards, Lauren White and Donshel Beck, to a combined 12 points on just five of 16 shooting.
Sells led the Sugar Bears in scoring with 12 points followed by Taylor Baudoin with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Junior center Sydney Baumen led the Cougars with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.
UCA moves on to face Weber State University on March 19, in the Farris Center, the Sugar Bears have only lost twice all season.
Photo from UCA Sports.