Taylor's 16-Point Outing Leads Owls to Win at Evangel
SPRINGFIELD -- The William Woods University women's basketball team kept its perfect streak alive as they pulled away in the second half to earn a 60-54 win over Evangel University on Friday night. Ashlee Taylor led the Owls with 16 points on the night, including a 5-of-6 performance from the free throw line. WWU forced 16 turnovers on the night, with Taylor recording a season-high four steals as well.
WWU got off to a slow start in the game, unable to make its first bucket until nearly five minutes had ticked off the clock. The Owl defense was able to minimize the damage, however, holding Evangel to just two buckets over the same stretch. Stephanie Copelin finally opened the scoring for WWU at the 15:30 mark, matching Evangel's opening by dropping a jumper and a three-pointer to knot the ball game up at 5-5.
Evangel edged back out to a lead and held the advantage for the next 10 minutes, before Taylor tied it up twice for the Owls. After picking Danielle Latt's pocket, she drew a foul on a fast break layup attempt, but converted both free throws. The Crusaders answered with a Briana Walsh bucket, but it was the last time the Owls trailed in the contest as she fouled Taylor on the ensuing inbounds play. Taylor knocked in both of the bonus free throws to level the score at 22-22 with 4:15 left in the half.
After nicking a steal that the Owls weren't able to convert, Blake French was fouled as she grabbed the rebound off a miss from EU. She hit both of her attempts to put WWU in front, with the Owls taking a 28-25 lead into the locker room.
Evangel pulled to within one coming out of the intermission, but a 12-2 WWU run capped by a Katie Scherder three-point play put the game out of reach. With a 40-29 lead with 12:29 left, the Owls had the game in control.
WWU never allowed Evangel closer than two possessions down the stretch, closing out with a six-point margin. The Owls shot .423 from the floor in the second half to improve to a .345 mark on the night, hitting at a .652 clip from the free throw line in the game. The Owls were outrebounded on the night by a 44-34 margin, but made up for the deficit by forcing 16 turnovers in the game while giving up just seven.
William Woods moves to 4-0 on the year and will finish out a two-game road stretch on Tuesday night. The Owls travel to Fayette to take on Central Methodist University. Tipoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.