EDWARDSVILLE — Althoff graduate Jazmin Hill, made her first start of the season for the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars and she made a big impression.
Hill matched her season high with 16 points, including four three-pointers. Hill, a junior from O'Fallon, is now 10 three-pointers shy of No. 2 on the all-time three-pointers list.
Hill wsa one of five players scored in double figures Monday as SIUE women's basketball powered past Jacksonville State 80-58 at the Vadalabene Center.
SIUE coach Paula Buscher shook up her starting lineup, and the Cougars responded with their biggest win of the season. SIUE improved to 8-9 overall and 2-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Three players tied their season high and two more players set new season bests.
"I wanted some more energy in our starting lineup compared to Saturday, and I thought the players responded to that," said Buscher. "We were able to get points off of their turnovers, so it starts on the defensive end."
SIUE scored 25 points off Jacksonville State's 22 turnovers.
Hill, who shot 6 of 8 from the field, opened the game with a three-pointer from the corner 25 seconds into the contest. Jacksonville State, 0-18 overall and 0-6 in the OVC, tied the game 5-5 but quickly fell behind the Cougars.
"Jazmin has really picked it up in practice these past few days. She's intense, competitive, and has been one of our most vocal players recently," Buscher said. "She's really been coming around, and tonight she played like I know she can play. I really wanted her to focus on defense and let the game come to her, and I thought she did a great job."
SIUE went on a 10-0 run behind Ashley Capotosto who tied her season best with 10 points.
CoCo Moore scored a solid 10 points. Jessie Wendt came off the bench for the Cougars for 11 points, matching her career best. Tierny Austin was SIUE's fifth player in double figures with 12 points on a team best 5-of-6 shooting from the field.
"Our intensity on the defensive end led to turnovers for them and easy buckets for us," Buscher said.
Candace Morton led Jacksonville State with 12 points. The Gamecocks shot 52 percent from the field but took 16 fewer shots than the Cougars.
SIUE's Raven Warford scored her first field goal of the season in the first half and recorded a season high in scoring.
SIUE players also rallied around Brooke Smith late in the game. Smith, who played volleyball during the fall season, got into her first game of the season and made sure she was on the stats line. She grabbed a rebound and scored her first collegiate with 16 seconds left in the game.
"I thought we shared the ball and did a nice job of setting each other up. Tonight we made that extra pass to hit the open player, and you have to credit our players for knocking down open shots," said Buscher.
SIUE now takes to the road for its next two contests. The Cougars travel to Murray State Saturday followed by a Monday meeting at Austin Peay.