Loven Scores a Career-High 28 Points, Pioneers Fall to WIU, 118-93
Pioneers and Leathernecks combined for an NCAA record 36 3s
Jan. 24, 2018
MACOMB, Ill. – The University of Denver women’s basketball team fell to Western Illinois, 118-93 on Wednesday night, as the two teams combined for an NCAA record 36 made 3s inside Western Hall.
The Pioneers dropped to 12-10 and 3-4 in the Summit League, while the Leathernecks improved to 15-6 and 5-2 in league play.
Lauren Loven led DU with a career-high 28 points, shooting 57.1 percent (8-for-14) from behind the arc and 50 percent (9-for-18) from the field.
Not far behind Loven was Claire Gritt who added 17 points, with a 50 percent clip (7-for-13) from the field and 60 percent (3-for-5) from deep.
As a group, Denver shot 41.7 percent (35-for-84) from field-goal range and 42.9 percent (18-for-42) from downtown. The squad also grabbed 50 boards, handed out 24 assists and forced 11 turnovers.
Western Illinois got the contest going with back-to-back-to-back 3s from Olivia Braun and Morgan Blumer, starting the game on a 9-3 run.
Down by four, 11-7 Loven put the Pioneers within one with the squad’s first trey of the game. On the next possession, the sophomore tied it up with her second 3.
With 4:04 in the period, the Crimson and Gold scored their first lead of the contest, as Morgan connected with the team’s third triple of the period. However, looking to answer on the other-end was Emily Clemens, making the Leatherneck’s fourth of the game.
After a 9-2 run for WIU, Carie Weinman fired back with her first 3. Hardly intimidated, Western Illinois got hot, finishing the period with a run of 15-5, pushing the advantage to 11 points, 37-26.
Starting the second much like most of the first, Taylor Higginbotham sunk the Leatherneck’s ninth trey of the game.
WIU continued to score at will in the second, chalking up a 19-point edge, 50-31 after another Blumer 3, her third in the first fourteen minutes.
Refusing to go away, Denver responded with an 8-0 run, slicing the margin to only 11 points.
DU continued to chip at the lead, and after Abi Curtin made a pair from the charity stripe, the Pioneers were only down by seven, 53-48.
An 11-5 run for Western Illinois ended the second on a positive note for the home team, as they took an 11-point advantage into the locker room at halftime, 64-53.
At the break, Denver had two players with point totals in double figures, Loven with 17 and Curtin with 10. Through the first 20 minutes, Loven shot 71.4 percent (5-for-7) from 3-point territory and 66.7 percent (6-for-9) from the field.
As a unit, the Pioneers went 47.6 percent (20-for-42) from field-goal range and 55.6 percent (10-for-18) from deep. The team notched 28 rebounds and 13 assists through the first two quarters.
The Crimson and Gold offense started the third with some fire, putting up an 8-2 run, capped by another 3 from Loven. Western Illinois had no problem answering, sinking six unanswered points.
Responding with back-to-back 3s was Gritt, getting the team back within seven points.
The high-powered WIU offense once again found its grove, chalking up nine unanswered points and pushing the margin to 15, 85-70.
DU used six straight points to cut the edge to nine points thanks to a short Morgan jumper with a minute left in the third. However, an old-fashion three-point play from Clemens with just five seconds left put the Leathernecks up by 12 to end the third.
With just over six minutes in the contest, Denver got within nine off a Romanowski triple, the junior’s third of the game.
Nine points was as close as the Pioneers could trim the lead, as Western Illinois improved to 5-0 at home vs Denver.
The Crimson and Gold return to the Mile High City on Saturday, to host South Dakota at 1 p.m.
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