By Lori Dresner, Managing Editor/News Editor
The University of Missouri–St. Louis Triton women’s basketball team pulled off a 77-73 win over the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars in a Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) matchup in Springfield, Illinois, on February 2. Laura Szorenyi, sophomore, communications, netted a career-high 31 points to help lead the Tritons to victory, boosting their record to 10-10 overall and 5-7 in GLVC play.
The Tritons got off to a strong start, gaining a 25-13 lead over the Prairie Stars in the first quarter. Ten of those points came from Szorenyi, who posted two free throws, two 3-pointers, and a layup during the quarter. Jordan Fletcher, redshirt junior, business administration, also played solidly, posting three layups and two free throws to help the Tritons pull ahead.
In the second quarter, the Tritons held on to the lead, despite the Prairie Stars coming within a point of tying the game. Layups early in the quarter by Fletcher and Robneisha Lee, senior, liberal studies, helped the Tritons to a 29-17 lead with 8:25 left to go in the quarter. The Prairie Stars fought back late in the quarter, however, cutting the Tritons’ lead to 38-37 at the 1:00 mark. By the end of the quarter, the Tritons held a narrow 39-37 lead over the Prairie Stars.
A 3-pointer by Szorenyi and a layup by Sydney Bloch, senior, business administration and criminology, early in the third quarter helped the Tritons gain a 44-37 lead on their opponents. However, Springfield picked up momentum and tied the game 44-44 at the 6:25 mark. The Tritons again reclaimed the lead with layups by Bloch and Szorenyi, but the Prairie Stars tied the game twice with less than four minutes left in the quarter. Fortunately, a 3-pointer and two free throws by Szorenyi in the final two minutes of the quarter helped the Tritons come out on top 55-53.
Springfield tied the game 55-55 early on in the fourth quarter. The Tritons reclaimed the lead with layups by Lee and Fletcher but saw their first deficit of the game when the Prairie Stars pulled ahead 62-61 with just 4:50 left to play. The Tritons retied the game and took a two-point lead thanks to a layup on a fast break by Lee, but the Prairie Stars pulled ahead 67-66 with less than four minutes left. Luckily, strong performance by the Tritons in the final minutes of the game, including three free throws and two jumpers by Szorenyi, led the Tritons to a victory over the Prairie Stars.
The Tritons’ victory on February 2 was head coach Katie Vaughn’s 100th career win. Vaughn is in her fifth season as head coach for the women’s team at UMSL.
The women’s basketball team’s final regular season road game was to be played at McKendree University against the Bearcats on February 4 at 1 p.m.