GEORGETOWN, Texas - Southwestern did just enough from the free throw line to close out a 90-86 win over Concordia University (TX) on Saturday afternoon. The win improves Southwestern to 6-2 on the season.
Concordia came out pressing and was very effective, jumping out to a 6-0 lead while forcing the Pirates into five turnovers in their first eight possessions. After a timeout by Head Coach Kerri Brinkoeter, SU employed a press of their own and took the lead 15-12 with 14:30 left in the first half.
With calm heads Southwestern systematically picked apart the Tornados press and got layups and open looks form deep to push their lead to 14, 50-36, with just over a minute remaining.
Chelsea Leeder and Jordan Owens led the scoring for the Pirates with 11 points each while Concordia's Voneshia Williams scored 12 points in nine minutes off the bench to lead the Tornados in the opening frame. Southwestern's offense was fueled by a sharp-shooting long distance game, shooting 66.7% (6-9) in the first half and took a 10 point lead 50-40 into the break.
The second half opened with each team trying their luck from long distance and after Southwestern got warmed-up they built their lead back to 14, 56-42, after threes from Audrey Garcia and Owens.
Southwestern remained confident, maintaining a double-digit lead and pushing it to as many as 16, 66-50, after a three from Cara Sheffer with 11:52 remaining, but Concordia refused to go away as they steadily picked away at SU's lead.
A three by Jessie Pittman brought the Tornados within six, 75-69, with 6:17 to play and less than ideal free throw shooting allowed CTX to come within four points, 88-84, with 18 seconds remaining.
Southwestern did just enough from the free throw line to close out the game, securing the 90-86 victory.
The Pirates were +9 in turnovers but -11 in rebounds for the game and made just nine field goals in the second half, earning 18 points from the free throw line but had 33 attempts. Owens led all scorers with 20 points and also led the team in rebounds with seven. Garcia chipped in 16 points, Madison Eschle 15 and Leeder 11. CTX's Domonique Liddell led all rebounders with 16 boards while Brianna Smith led the Tornados with 17 points.
The win improves the Pirates to 6-2 on the season while Concordia falls to 4-4. SU returns to action on Monday afternoon, facing Wartburg College at 3 p.m. at home.