GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates women's basketball team put together its best 3-point shooting game of the season, defeating the Schreiner University Mountaineers 64-57 to improve to 3-1 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
Cecily Woolfoolk scored a team-high 15 points in 26 minutes but it was her ability to move the defense and the ball that benefited Southwestern the most.
The Pirates began the game playing in a crowd offensively, struggling to fit the ball through narrow passing windows or trying to drive through a thicket of defenders. Compounding matters was a propensity for the Southwestern frontcourt to bring the ball low in traffic, opening up opportunities for smaller defenders to swipe at what would otherwise be uncontestable shots.
Southwestern committed four turnovers in the opening quarter, failing to build off their own defense, which held Schreiner to 3-for-15 shooting in the first 10 minutes.
Both teams packed the paint and forced each other to shoot over the top. The Pirates found relief in a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers, getting one each from Zhazze Brown and Cydnee Lester. The made shots changed the spacing on the floor, almost immediately opening up a duck-in opportunity for Woolfolk, who capitalized with a layup, helping the Pirates to an 11-8 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter brought offensive futility from the field in a 2-for-12 shooting performance but a foothold for victory. Woolfolk established herself as a presence inside, using her nimble feet and strong frame to create her own space, getting to the free-throw line six times and sinking five.
Schreiner responded with quality ball movement, assisting on four of their seven made field goals in the quarter with Skylar Trujillo the primary beneficiary, scoring six of her eight points to help the Mountaineers take a 28-23 lead at the half.
The Pirates put together an offensive clinic in the third quarter, using Woolfolk's size as a crowbar to pry open the Mountaineer defense. Woolfolk sealed defenders at the elbow for easy targets on entry passes, collapsing the defense and finding Brown and Courtney Maass on inside-out passes from the elbow to the wings for a pair of 3-pointers.
As Schreiner began fronting entry passes into Woolfolk and sagging weak side help to discourage passes over the top, Noel Pratts found Maass for another 3-pointer with a skip pass. A few plays later, Maass returned the favor, finding Pratts for a fast break layup.
The Pirates hit 3-for-4 from deep in the third quarter and 53.6 percent overall, assisting on six of their nine made field goals to outscore Schreiner 22-11 in the third.
Schreiner cut the deficit to five late in the fourth quarter but unraveled down the stretch, picking up a technical foul as Pratts scored seven points in the quarter to hold off the Mountaineers.
Pratts finished with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting, including 2-for-5 from the 3-point line, and Maass had 11 points and four assists. The Pirates made a season-high seven 3-pointers on 14 attempts, hitting 42.6 percent overall. Tori Carraway had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds and Kelsey Faykus had seven points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Gabby Ivarra had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Schreiner and Sydney Williams had 11 points on eight shots. The Mountaineers shot 36.2 percent from the field and 10-for-15 from the free-throw line.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 3-1 in conference and 4-9 overall. Schreiner drops to 1-3 in conference and 1-12 overall. Southwestern will hit the road next weekend to play Austin College on Friday, Jan. 11 at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4:00 p.m.