Box Score Feb. 24, 2018
DENVER - The University of Denver women's basketball team had its moments on Saturday afternoon, but ultimately couldn't pull it off, falling to Western Illinois 77-61.
The Pioneers finish 7-7 in the Summit League and 16-13 overall. WIU improves to 21-8 and 10-4 in league play.
Lauren Loven led the way for DU, chalking up a team-high 15 points. Her teammate Jordyn Alt recorded a game-high 17 rebounds, on top of nine points.
In her final game in the Mile High City, Sydney Koel went for a career-high 10 points and four rebounds.
The program also honored Koel's fellow seniors, Alt, Ciera Morgan and Jahla Osborne.
Through four quarters of action, the Crimson and Gold shot 32.3 percent (21-for-65) from the field and 30.8 percent (8-for-26) from deep. The team grabbed 56 rebounds, forced 17 turnovers and handed out 14 assists.
Denver opened the contest with a 5-2 edge, with Koel starting the game with a 3.
Western Illinois was quick to respond with an 8-2 run, taking the lead 10-7 at the three minute mark.
The Pioneers fired right back, with five points in a row from Alt and Loven. The squad ended the period with a 7-3 run of its own, retaking the advantage, 14-13.
Over the first four and a half minutes of the second quarter, the Leathernecks outscored DU 13-5, as Emily Clemens drained back-to-back treys, on her way to a game-high 28 points.
WIU continued to score at will, building a 12-point margin by the four minute mark, as Taylor Higginbotham connected with her first 3 of the game.
Five straight points from Loven helped the Pioneers trim the edge to eight points, but Western Illinois replied with eight of its own, pushing the margin to 16 points at the break.
Loven was a star for the Crimson and Gold through the first half, scoring a team-high 10 points, while also grabbing a pair of boards.
As a team, DU grabbed 29 rebounds, had six assists and forced six turnovers.
Madison Nelson started the third with a 3, but the Leathernecks responded with an 11-1 run, giving them their largest lead of the game at 23 points.
A deep trey from Carie Weinman had the advantage cut to less than 20 points with less than three minutes to play in the period. Another 3 from Koel had Denver within 14 points, 60-46 to start the fourth.
The Crimson and Gold opened the final quarter with six points in a row, four of which came from Morgan. The six straight points had the Pioneers only down by eight with less than eight minutes to play.
Just like that however, WIU's offense found its rhythm with a 15-2 swing, highlighted by another triple from Higginbotham. Finally breaking the streak was Alt, who connected with her first shot of the game from downtown.
The Leathernecks used the fourth to shut the door on DU, ending any hopes for a comeback.
Denver returns to action next weekend, when they take to Sioux Falls, S.D. for the Summit League Tournament.
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Student-Athlete Alumni Giving Challenge:
In 2017-18, the University of Denver is holding an alumni giving challenge in an effort to increase student-athlete alumni participation in the Denver Athletics Annual Fund. The sport program with the highest percentage of alumni participation will receive an additional $10,000 of support through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Former student-athletes can make a gift online, by calling 303-871-2388 during normal business hours or by sending a check to:
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Attn: Kaley Rickert
2201 E. Asbury Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
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