Women’s College Basketball: Lewis stings St. Francis 74-56
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media December 3, 2013 10:56PM
Lewis Mariyah Brawner-Henley and St. Francis' Mary Rouse battle for the ball during Tuesday night's game. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 5, 2014 6:33AM
St. Francis was the perfect remedy for Lewis on Tuesday night at Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville.
No. 12 Lewis (4-7) started fast and finished strong to snap a two-game losing streak via a 74-56 win over St. Francis.
All but one of the Flyers’ rostered players scored, while St. Francis was without leading scorer and rebounder Katie Gonnering. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week missed the game with an ankle injury. The loss was the fourth in a row for the Saints (3-8) and seventh in their last eight games after a 2-0 start.
“Basically, we wanted to get out and run,” Lewis sophomore forward Mariyah Brawner-Henley said. “We share the ball well and that makes us tough to beat.”
The Flyers’ lockdown, man-to-man defense also made it tough on the Saints.
“I was proud the way we came out of the locker room,” Lewis coach Lisa Carlsen said. “We established ourselves on defense early. Any time we can do that, it adds to our offensive transition.”
“It’s a credit to their defense,” Saints coach Samantha Quigley said. “They played very well defensively. They play good man-to-man defense and that gives us struggles.”
Lauren Mead’s free throw gave Lewis (4-7) a 10-0 lead four minutes into the game. St. Francis shaved the lead to 12-9 on a three-pointer by Cydney Weisflog with 13:23 to go in the first half. However, Lewis went on a 15-4 run later in the half en route to taking a 46-24 lead at the intermission. Its largest lead was 26 points on three separate occasions in the second half.
“It all starts in practice and that translates to games,” Brawner-Henley said. “We have goals and we take that upon ourselves in games to get defensive stops.”
Lewis forced 19 turnovers, while St. Francis shot just 32.3 percent (20-of-62) for the game. Gonnering averages 23.6 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Saints.
“With her out, it’s forcing other kids to step up,” Quigley said. “This is an opportunity for some players to make some noise.”
Lewis won the rebounding battle 49-35, including 32 offensive boards.
“A lot of what we do is predicated on rebounding the basketball and we did that,” Carlsen said. “That fuels our offense.”
Brawner-Henley came up with her fifth double-double of the season by posting game highs of 20 points and 15 rebounds. Jess Reinhart added 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Kaitlyn Ray’s 14 points topped the Saints.