LAS VEGAS — A late turnover proved the undoing for the University of La Verne women's basketball team in a 68-61 loss to St. Vincent on Wednesday afternoon at South Point Arena.
Faye Osburn sank a 3-pointer, Shannon Irwin hit a long two with less than four minutes to go and the Leopards had a chance to wrestle away the momentum for good in what had been a back-and-forth contest. But Emily Myers, swarmed by three defenders after an offensive rebound, inadvertently threw the ball away at the La Verne bench and the Bearcats ran away with the opportunity.
Hannah Carroll made a jumper off the turnover, Mara Benvenuti converted a huge three and St. Vincent went on a 9-2 run to ice the game.
La Verne falls to 2-7 and St. Vincent moves to 5-4.
La Verne opened up the first half strong, with Myers putting up 20 points and pulling down five rebounds. The starting center was stifled by DeSales on Tuesday, but would not let St. Vincent hold her down this time.
The Bearcats stayed close with Jasmine Weems leading the charge and playing all 20 minutes of the first half.
Back to back three-pointers from Osburn and Karli Kato helped open the Leopard lead to eight but an offensive board and a foul put Lucy Bujdos at the charity stripe, who then converted two free throws. Bujdos and found fellow Bearcat Carroll on back-to-back plays to cut the deficit to three. Brianna Bishop scored on the ensuing possession to give La Verne a five-point lead going into the final frame.
A quick layup, a big block, and a transition score returned the lead to St. Vincent and the Bearcats never looked back.
Myers finished with 24 points, eight boards, and two helpers to lead La Verne.
Osburn put up 10 points, Irwin picked up eight points and eight boards, and Kayla Chism chipped in eight off the bench.
Weems and Benvenuti added 14 apiece for the Bearcats, while Carroll picked up 12 points and eight boards. La Verne returns to action on Saturday to open up SCIAC play when they travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.