LIBERAL, Kan. - The No. 8 Lady Saints basketball team snuck by Frank Phillips for their second victory of the year Wednesday night, 61-47. However, the mood in the locker room following the game was not one to be expected following a 14-point game. Turning the ball over 29 times will damper the mood.
"They [Frank Phillips] were doing a good job of getting in the passing lane and putting pressure on us," Head Coach Toby Wynn said. "We kept trying to pass it off instead of driving to the basket. When you get four or five turnovers to start the game, it just muddles everything up."
While turnovers were an issue, when the Lady Saints were able to shoot it, they found success. Seward came out in the first quarter scoring five straight from a Amy Scott layup and Mollie Mounsey three-pointer. The Lady Plainsmen quickly rebounded from the early deficit, however, going on a 6-2 run to pull with one point with 7 minutes left in the quarter. The Lady Saints held on to a 20-17 lead as the horn buzzed to end the first quarter, as neither team could gain an advantage. Mounsey scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter, while Seward shoot 58.3% from the field as a team and 60% from behind the arc.
The second was a struggle for both teams as neither offense could get going. The Lady Saints held Frank Phillips to just 4 of 19 shooting in the second quarter, but nine turnovers prevented Seward from extended their lead. The quarter started promising with a Carla Covane layup following a Lady Plainsmen turnover, but the next five possessions all came up empty for the Lady Saints. A Mounsey layup ended the drought and Journey Greene added two more points on the following possession to push the lead to seven at 26-19. Seward held Frank Phillips scoreless for nearly six minutes in the second quarter, but in the final three minutes, the Lady Plainswomen went on a 6-2 lead to cut the lead to 2.
Seward shot 50% from the field in the first half on 11 of 22 shooting and shot 37.5% from behind the arc on 3 of 8 shooting. The Lady Saint bench came away with 10 of the team's 26 points.
Frank Phillips cut the lead to two points in the early going of the third quarter, but the Lady Saints answered with a 6-0 run to extend the lead to eight. Vanessa Caro came away with five points during the run, while Silvia Veloso added a free throw. As the rest of the night had gone, the Lady Saints could not put Frank Phillips away, as they answered with a 9-3 run to end the quarter, as they Lady Saints led 40-38.
The Lady Saints were in a bend-but-don't-break mentality all night. Each time it seemed as though the Lady Plainsmen would take the lead, the Lady Saints had an answer. With only a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Saints came out firing, pushing their lead to nine through the first four minutes with a Lexi Hernandez three. At last, the lead proved to be insurmountable, as Seward carried it to the one minute mark, before extending the lead to 14 points with two Veloso free throws, winning the game 61-47.
While the Lady Saints turned the ball over early and often, they ended the game shooting 46.7% from the floor and 38.9% from deep. Defensively the Lady Saints came away with 10 steals on the night, led by Vilma Covane and Veloso, who each had three. The bench played a large role in the victory, accounting for 25 of Seward's points.
Things won't get any easier for the Lady Saints as they host No. 12 Hutchinson at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the Greenhouse. Free tickets are available courtesy of our sponsor Billy's Blue Duck BBQ at their restaurant.