GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates women's basketball team dropped the ball against the Texas Lutheran University (TLU) Bulldogs, falling from a three-way tie for first in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) standings.
Southwestern committed 24 turnovers, including eight in a decisive second quarter, giving way to 25 TLU point off turnovers for the game.
Cecily Woolfolk led the Pirates with a strong performance, scoring 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. The Pirates' center was a powerful inside presence, delivering on one drop step after another and crashing the offensive glass, hitting 9-for-16 from the field and 12-for-14 from the free-throw line.
Though Woolfolk provided a strong focal point for the offense, the Pirates often played without focus. They were careless with the ball from the start, committing 13 turnovers in the first half to trail 31-22 at the break.
Some turnovers were wayward passes leading teammates hopelessly into a crowd or out of bounds. More damning were the handful of defensive possessions the Pirates ended with a rebound only to immediately give the ball back with a haphazard outlet pass; the result of guards not coming to the ball and frontcourt players throwing a pass before reading the court.
Some of the Pirates' inattention seeped into the defensive end, where the Bulldogs should be credited for moving the ball patiently against the 2-3 zone but still found one too many open 3-pointers from simple side-to-side movement without even puncturing the defense with an entry pass or dribble penetration.
The Bulldogs shot 8-for-27 from deep for the game, seemingly answering every Southwestern run with a big 3-pointer. Though TLU shot just 38.1 percent for the game, they overwhelmed more with volume than efficiency by taking 14 more shots than Southwestern via a combination of offensive rebounds and turnovers.
Southwestern returned from halftime with more poise and purpose, infusing its defensive rotations with energy, being more proactive than reactive to come within one at 36-37. The Bulldogs answered with three huge plays from Jenesis Navarro on consecutive offensive possessions, draining two 3-pointers and finding Morgan Rodriguez for a layup, foul, and free throw to extend the lead by double digits once more.
Woolfolk scored 14 points in the fourth quarter but the Pirates once again committed eight turnovers to squash any comeback hopes as the Bulldogs hit 10-for-11 from the free-throw line while the Pirates fouled to extend the game.
The Bulldogs got a strong one-two punch off the bench with Navarro and Kasey Hairell each scoring 14 points. Tara Molia had eight points and eight assists.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 6-10 on the season and 5-2 in conference play while TLU improves to 10-7 and 6-2 in conference. Southwestern with host the University of Dallas on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 4:00 p.m.