OWENSBORO, Ky. — Junior guard Caty Ponce (Edwardsville) led all players with 23 points and became the 13th player in McKendree University women's basketball history to score over 1,000 career points in a 69-59 loss at Kentucky Wesleyan College on Sunday.
The Bearcats fall to 6-3 overall and will be off until Jan. 3 when they return to the court to face University of Missouri-St. Louis in a Great Lakes Valley Conference matchup at 5:30 p.m.
Ponce was the lone McKendree player to score in double figures in the loss and now has 1,004 career points ranking her 13th on the school's all-time scoring list. She needs 82 points to pass former player Heather Elders for 12th placeon the all-time scoring list. Senior guard Brittany Willis and freshman guard/forward Amber Alexander also each had eight points in the contest.
The Bearcats had a slow start in the contest and trailed 11-2 at the 16:29 mark before a layup by freshman forward Ellie Pusheck capped a 10-0 run that put McKendree in front, 12-11, just under the 11 minute mark.
The lead was exchanged back and forth until a three-pointer by sophomore guard Liz Gilman at the 7:54 mark gave the Bearcats a 24-19 lead. The Panthers regained the lead a minute later and held onto it for the remainder of the half to hold a 39-33 lead at the half.
McKendree cut its deficit to 44-43 just over five minutes into the second half on a three-pointer by Ponce, and tied the game 54-54 on another three by Ponce with 7:43 left in the game. The tie was as close as the Bearcats could get down the stretch as Kentucky Wesleyan went on an 11-0 run over the next minute to put the game out of reach for McKendree.
Karly Rhodes led the Panthers with 18 points, while Shelbi Tyra and Jordanne Gambill with 15 and 11 points, respectively.