Upset Bid Falls Short As Women’s Basketball Topped By No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan

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For Immediate Release – 12/28/18 - #061

Upset Bid Falls Short As Women's Basketball Topped By No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan

WHITTIER, CA (December 28, 2018) – The King's College women's basketball team gave the No. 14 Titans of Illinois Wesleyan University all it could handle Friday evening, but a 24-8 edge in the fourth quarter lifted the Titans past King's 76-65 in action from the Graham Athletic Center Friday evening. The contest was the first of two games for King's at the Holiday Inn La Mirinda Purple and Gold Poet Classic, hosted by Whittier College.

The game started out strong for the Monarchs, as senior Lindsey Dippre gave King's an early 3-0 lead with a three-pointer on the first possession of the game. The Monarchs pushed the lead up to as much as 11 points in the opening stanza, as Mackenzie Yori nailed a triple at 4:22 of the first to make the score 18-7. IWU (10-2) cut into the edge for King's, but a Yori layup just before the end of the quarter gave the Monarchs a 26-18 lead.

King's was on fire in the first period, making 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) from the floor while connecting on 4-of-7 from downtown. KC continued to hold a lead through the second quarter, maintaining an eight-point bulge with 1:39 to play after an Alexis Steeber layup but a 6-0 run right before the half made it a 38-36 contest for King's at the break.

After the halftime intermission, Illinois Wesleyan took its first lead of the game at 39-38 after a traditional three-point play from Maddie Merritt. The lead would be short-lived though, as Steeber converted another layup followed by a Kayla Dillinger triple to make it a 43-39 lead for the Monarchs.

With the score tied at 45, King's scored the next five points on a three from Samantha Rajza and a layup from Yori to regain a five-point edge. Minutes later, another Dillinger three-pointer gave King's its biggest lead of the second half at six while taking a 57-52 lead into the fourth. King's outscored IWU 10-0 in points off turnovers in the third, shooting 53.3 percent from field in the quarter.

The Titan shooters would come to life in the fourth quarter, making 64.3 percent of its field goals in the final stanza to earn the comeback win. The Monarchs led for a good portion of the final quarter, and the game was tied at 62 after a free throw by Rebecca Prociak at 5:44. An 11-0 run by the Titans ended up being the deciding spurt, as King's finished 1-of-9 from the floor over the final 5:44 of the game.

Steeber was exceptional on Friday for King's, as the senior was 8-of-9 from the floor en route to a team-best 17 points. She added five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals as well for the Monarchs. Yori added 15 points on 7-of-17 shooting, posting five steals as well, and Prociak finished with 12 points, three assists and five rebounds.

Dippre returned to the starting lineup for the first time in a month and posted eight points, three assists and three steals and Dillinger was 2-of-5 from the floor for six points. King's shot 46.7 percent (28-60) from the field and led for 30:44 of the contest. The difference came on the glass, as Illinois Wesleyan outrebounded King's 47-25 including a 19-4 edge on the offensive glass. That resulted in a 16-3 edge for IWU in second-chance points.

Merritt posted a game-high 24 points for the Titans, adding 10 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Raven Hughes poured in 16 points as well, while Nina Anderson chalked up 12 points as well. Sydney Shanks pulled in a team-high 12 rebounds for IWU, which shot 44.3 percent (31-70) from the floor.

King's is off Saturday but returns to the hardwood on Saturday at 8:00 PM EST/5:00 PST out in California, taking on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in play from Roberts Pavilion in Claremont, CA.