By Roderick Wilbon, Sports Editor
The University of Missouri-St. Louis Lady Tritons’ Basketball team faced Lincoln University at the Mark Twain Athletic and Fitness building on November 25. Lincoln coming into this match is 2-3 on the season and UMSL with 2-1 on the season. The match looked to be decided after the one minute had gone by in the first quarter.
Plenty of drama took place for the Tritons early in the game. Shawnta Johnson, starting forward, senior, communications, picked up two early fouls. Three minutes had only gone by in the game and Head Coach Katie Vaughn decided to sit Johnson for the rest of the first-half. Jordan Fletcher, senior, marketing, was in foul trouble the entire game, but was subbed out throughout the game.
“Yeah, I got two really quick ones (fouls) and coach decided to take me out for the rest of the first half,” said Johnson. “It was frustrating, but there isn’t any point to arguing calls with refs.”
Coach Vaughn went with a smaller lineup with forward Alex Laporta, freshman, business administration. Kaitlynn Henning, guard, junior, nursing, played big minutes this game with 31 in the smaller lineup. Henning finished the game with 10 points and 3 assists. The small lineup lead to penetration from every angle with the guards, which put a lot of pressure on Lincoln. Laporta was a huge screener in the first half, and Lincoln never fought over the screens leading to wide open 3-pointers by guards Arielle Jackson, junior, biology, communication, and Sammie Sproul, senior, business.
The Lady Tritons shot 5-8 in 3-pointers in the first-half for 62.5 percent and 12-27 in field goals for 44.4 percent. Lincoln shot 6-27 in field goals for 22.2 percent in the first-half. The game looked to be out of reach at the end of half-time with the Tritons up 32-19 and with two starters not on the floor much.
Johnson and Fletcher would return to start the second half for the full starting lineup. The Tritons played out of sync though in the beginning and with Johnson struggling. Lincoln came out much stronger with a slightly different lineup. Lincoln went on a 10-0 run in the beginning of the third quarter. They roared back to 32-29 with 6:37 left in the quarter. “Sammie get them together,” yelled Coach Vaughn.
The Tritons got back on track finishing the third quarter 50-31. Johnson started to get it going and penetrating the defense opened Lincoln up for some more 3-pointer bombs. “Coming back and trying to get your rhythm back was tough,” said Johnson.
The Tritons finished the game 68-47, shooting 6-10 in 3-pointers for 60.0 percent in the second half from Sproul and Jackson. UMSL also took advantage of 21 Lincoln turnovers, scoring 17 points off the mishaps. The Lady tritons start Conference Play November 30 versus Drury on the road.