Junior forward Racheal Mahan recorded her third double-double of the season as she posted 19 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Indiana State Women’s Basketball team fell to Evansville, 63-56, on Sunday afternoon in the Hulman Center. ISU dropped to 13-10 overall and 8-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Evansville’s Kat Taylor dropped a career-high 30 points to combine with Sara Dickey’s 18 points to help the Purple Aces overcome the Sycamores and split this year’s conference series. Mahan posted 11 of her 19 points in the first half and eight of her rebounds came off the offensive glass. Two other scored in double figures in sophomore forward Marina Laramie and senior guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir with 11 points each.
Abdul-Qaadir also led with a game-high five assists while chipping in five rebounds and going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. As a team, Indiana State shot just 31.3 percent and a dismal 10 percent from 3-point range (2-for-20). They out-rebounded the Purple Aces, 47-42, including a 16-8 edge on the offensive glass.
Indiana State led by as many as eight halfway through the first half but couldn’t hold that lead going into the break, as it trailed 27-25. ISU is now 5-9 in games where they are trailing at halftime.
The two teams kept it close throughout the second half, as they exchanged the lead three times and had 10 ties. The Sycamores opened the second half on a 6-2 run before UE’s Kenzie Gustin three pointer cut the lead back down to one.
An Abdul-Qaadir runner gave ISU a three point lead with 8:42 on the clock, but Taylor drained one of her five 3-pointers on the evening helping UE to a 42-41 lead. Taylor finished the day 10-for-13 from the floor, 5-for-7 from behind the arc and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.
Abdul-Qaadir would sink two free throws at the 4:27 mark to tie things at 47-all, but Indiana State would get no closer as Evansville (10-13, 5-8 MVC) capped the game on a 16-9 run.
Dickey, the league’s leading scorer, earned 12 of her 18 points after the break to help her team shoot 38.2 percent from the floor.
ISU got productive minutes from junior forward Chelsea Small who went for 4-for-9 from the floor for nine points and four rebounds. Senior guard Anna Munn appeared in the game for the first time since Feb. 2 when she suffered a knee injury to add six points, three boards and three assists.
With UNI’s road win at MVC leader Wichita State Sunday afternoon, Indiana State slips to third place in the MVC standings headed into road action next weekend.
ISU travels to Missouri State and league leader Wichita State this weekend for their second to last MVC road series. They tip off against the Bears on Friday at 8:05 p.m. ET and versus the Shockers on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET.