EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville women’s basketball team fought until the final buzzer in a close 81-74 loss to the IUPUI Jaguars.
It was a career night for graduate center Barbora Tomancova against IUPUI as she set career highs on both offense and defense. With 27 points, 19 rebounds, an assist, and a block over 31 minutes, Tomancova led the Purple Aces to come within a possession of the Jaguars. UE also had two other players score in double figures while freshman forward Maggie Hartwig had a career-high four blocks.
“There were a lot of positives to take from the game, but we put IUPUI on the free throw line too many times in the fourth quarter,” said Head Coach Robyn Scherr-Wells following the game. “It’s tough losing so many close games that have been a possession with two minutes left. It hurts but we’ll keep working hard to get better and fight for wins,”.
Evansville fell behind early on Wednesday night and couldn’t dig themselves out of the deficit in the first 10 minutes. A two-minute scoreless stretch had UE down by six, but a successful and-1 play from point guard Kynidi Mason Striverson made it only a one-possession game. Only free throws were made in the final two and a half minutes of the quarter as the Aces trailed 19-13.
UE got within one early in the second quarter as the teams traded buckets. But an eight-point run from the Jaguars with under six minutes in the half kept Evansville from finding a sustained offensive push. The Aces deficit grew to double digits in the final five minutes as they headed into halftime down 10.
But UE didn’t go down without a fight in the second half, cutting IUPUI’s lead to five within the first four minutes of the third. Evansville trailed by double-digits again in the quarter with 3:16 left on the clock. The team responded with six points in the final three minutes to bring it down to a seven-point game with a quarter left.
The Aces came out hot in the fourth quarter led by Tomancova as they chipped away at the Jaguars’ lead. A seven-point run in less than a minute from Mason Striverson and guard Madline Gerke made it a one-possession game with almost seven minutes to go. IUPUI stayed in the game with attempts at the line but momentum was all UE’s way as Tomancova had a layup and free throws in back-to-back possessions.
It was traded free throws for the next three minutes as Evansville kept getting the deficit down to one. With 2:42 left on the clock, Hartwig put in a layup off a turnover to tie the game. The Aces got the ball back on the next play thanks to a baseline foul from the Jaguars. But three missed shots in a row and three made shots for IUPUI ended UE’s fourth-quarter comeback with an 81-75 loss.
UE gets a week and a half off until its next game at Meeks Family Fieldhouse. Evansville will welcome the Lindenwood Lions to town on Saturday, Dec. 16. Tip-off for next week’s game is set for 2 p.m.