Short-handed Stars fall hard after slow start

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:05 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Missouri Valley outmatched Stephens College in every aspect Monday night, including number of players.

The Stars, who started with only two substitutes, lost 89-29 to the Lady Vikings on Monday night at Silverthorne Arena.

Using the strong play of junior Megan Fong, who had a game-high 24 points, Missouri Valley (7-14) coasted against the injury-riddled Stars.

Missouri Valley led the entire game. After opening a 13-5 lead with 13:04 left in the first half, the Lady Vikings went on a 29-3 run for the remainder of the half.

Lady Vikings coach Bill Wolf said he attributed the 42-8 halftime score to his team’s strong defense.

“Without them being able to get into their offensive sets it was difficult,” Wolf said. “The shots they had just weren’t dropping either.”

The Stars came out strong in the second half, outscoring Missouri Valley 16-14 in the first 6 minutes. Forward Eva Smoody was injured 2:29 into the second half, though, leaving Stephens with only one substitute.

Stars coach Dane Pavlovich said he was pleased with his team’s play in the second half and said fatigue kept his players from continuing the run.

Injuries have plagued Stephens (1-12) all season. A bruised left ankle sidelined sophomore guard Elisa Cash for Monday’s game.

“When you don’t start off with a lot of depth and you have injuries, we’re just a shell of what we had at the beginning of the year,” Pavlovich said.

The Stars also faced Fong on what Wolf said was the best night of her career.

Wolf said Fong has always played well, but that Monday was an unprecedented scoring night for her.

“I just shot the ball, I usually don’t shoot,” Fong said.

Guard Emily Sharp was the leading scorer for the Stars with 13 points.

Although Stephens has had a difficult season so far, Pavlovich was said he is hopeful for the future.

“It’s frustrating for me, it’s frustrating for the girls, but I think they understand the bigger picture,” Pavlovich said. “They understand that we’re getting better, that we’re making strides.”

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