College Sports

McKendree drops game to USI despite Heberg’s high scoring performance

Junior guard Jordan Heberg enjoyed a career-high scoring performance in McKendree’s 66-62 loss to the University of Southern Indiana on Thursday night.

Heberg poured in a career-best 27 points, topping her previous mark by eight points, in leading the Bearcats’ offensive attack. In addition, Heberg became just the 10th player in program history to connect on 100 three-point field goals during the contest.

McKendree, which nearly overcame a 21-point deficit in the first half, is now 12-11 overall and 6-8 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.

Heberg was 10-of-16 from the field at Southern Indiana, including four three-pointers in the outings. Heberg surpassed her previous career-high of 19 points, which was reached two times during the 2017-18 season. With her four trifectas, Heberg has pushed her career total to 103 three-pointers in just under three seasons with the Bearcats.

Southern Indiana (16-7, 9-4 GLVC) controlled the tempo in the first quarter, surging to a 24-11 lead after 10 minutes of play. The Screaming Eagles eventually stretched the margin to 40-19 with just under two minutes remaining until halftime. McKendree seized the momentum down the stretch, scoring the final seven points of the second quarter to pull within 40-26 at the intermission.

McKendree, which shot 71.4 percent in the second quarter, continued its torrid shooting pace during the third period. The Bearcats hit 53.8 percent of their field goal tries (7-of-13) while chipping into the deficit even further. McKendree used a 12-4 run in the later stages of the quarter to pull back within single digits at 51-45. Southern Indiana managed to regain a 56-47 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Heberg and sophomore guard Sydney Diekhoff each scored three points during a quick 6-0 burst that brought McKendree within 58-57 with 2:24 to play. The Screaming Eagles clawed their way back out to a five-point cushion heading into the final 30 seconds when Heberg buried her fourth and final trey of the night to slash the USI lead to 62-60 with 20 seconds on the clock. But with McKendree forced to foul, Southern Indiana was able to sink four free throws over the last 15 seconds to seal the victory.

Diekhoff also reached double figures for McKendree with 10 points, while junior forward Megan Jensen added nine points. Junior forward Shayli Florine came off the bench to post eight points and a team-leading nine rebounds, while senior forward Jordan Morton hauled in eight boards for the Bearcats, who claimed a 35-28 edge on the glass against the Screaming Eagles.

Ashley Johnson paced USI with 16 points, six assists and four steals.

The Bearcats will wind up a season-long four-game road trip on Saturday with a visit to Bellarmine University. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. ET in Louisville, Ky.