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Women's Hoops Falls Short at SIUE

MSU Athletics

In a highly contested battle with Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite SIUEdwardsville, the Morehead State women's basketball team lost its fifth straight game, 90-81, at the Vadalabene Center on Thursday night.

The Eagles (6-12, 0-4 OVC) gave the Cougars all they could handle on their home floor, challenging them to play catch-up throughout the evening. SIUE (9-9, 4-1) has won four of its last five games and remains tied with Southeast Missouri for first place in the OVC standings.

"This was the best all-around game we've played this season," said Head Coach Greg Todd. "As a team we have to keep taking steps in this direction. I think we've proved by playing a tough SIUE team like we did, that we can hang with any team in the conference."

The fourth quarter proved to be a sparring match between MSU's junior guard Brianna McQueen and SIUE's senior forward Shronda Butts. McQueen and Butts each tallied 11 points in the quarter, but the combined effort of the Cougars proved to be too much in the later moments. SIUE led 80-79 with 2:34 left to play and finished the game on a 10-2 run.

"I felt like our team played much better in the fourth quarter than they had previously. We missed a few layups, but I felt like we made them (SIUE) earn the game," said Todd.

MSU went on a 18-0 scoring run in the second quarter. During the stretch the Cougars were held scoreless for 8:36, and shot 0-for-13 from the floor. Five separate Eagles scored during the run as the visitors took a 40-34 lead into the half.

Junior forward Shay Steele finished with a team-high 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds, going 4-for-4 from beyond 12 feet. McQueen added 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The performance marked the sixth time in seven games she has scored in double digits, and tonight was her first career start. Sophomore Eriel McKee collected 11 points, hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in the third quarter, giving her 22 straight games scoring in double digits.

The Cougars were led by Butts and sophomore guard Donshel Beck, combining for 49 points, including Butts' game-high 30-point performance.

The Illinois swing will continue when MSU takes on Eastern Illinois on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at Lantz Arena.

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