LEBANON — The McKendree University women's basketball team had its home opener spoiled Tuesday night in a 68-64 non-conference loss to Missouri S&T.
The Bearcats fall to 1-1 overall and will travel Saturday to Kirksville, Mo., to face Truman State University at 2 p.m.
Sophomore guard Caty Ponce (Edwardsville) led all players with 20 points, while freshman guard Liz Gilman added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
McKendree jumped out to a 42-30 lead at the half after shooting just over 55-percent from the field in the first half, including draining six of its 11 three-point attempts.
Missouri S&T scored the first points of the contest on a layup by Kylie Cooper, only for the Bearcats to jump out to a 7-2 lead capped off by a three-pointer by Gilman with 16:28 to play in the half.
The Lady Miners bounced back and cut the deficit to 7-6, but McKendree kept control and built its first double-digit lead, 23-13, at the 10:55 mark on two free throws by Ponce.
A three-pointer by freshman guard Ashley Klass jump-started a McKendree a 10-0 run that gave the Bearcats its largest lead of the contest, 42-21, with four minutes left in the half.
Missouri S&T held McKendree without a basket over the final four minutes, but the Bearcats held on to their 12-point advantage at the half.
McKendree held on to a narrow lead through through the majority fo the second half until a three-pointer by Toni Knar gave Missouri S&T a 63-60 lead with 1:47 left in the game.
The Bearcats cut the deficit to one on two occaisions down the stretch, but the Lady Miners held on to dish McKendree its first loss of the season.
Kyesha Hall led Missouri S&T with 17 points, while Hailee Parks and Kylie Cooper added 16 and 11 points, respectively.