The game, much like the rest of the season, was practically over as soon as it started.
Central Methodist College defeated Stephens College 92-43 on Tuesday at Silverthorne Arena. Stephens finished 1-18 after winning its first game.
The Eagles started the game in a full-court press, which baffled the Stars. Stephens turned the ball over six times in the first four minutes, allowing Central Methodist to take a 19-4 lead.
By the time the Eagles dropped back into a zone, the deficit was insurmountable for Stephens, which has struggled to score all year. The Eagles had a 43-7 lead at halftime.
“They set the tone from the beginning,” Stephens coach Dane Pavlovich said. “We knew we’d see some pressure defenses, but they really jumped all over us. We broke down on a lot of fundamental things.”
Freshman Amy Diaz and sophomore Emily Sharp had solid second-half efforts for Stephens. Diaz scored 13 in the second half, and Sharp made five 3-pointers.
“Somebody had to step up,” Diaz said. “We didn’t want to end our season only scoring seven points. This whole year has been frustrating. We just want to better next year.”
Stephens averaged about 25 turnovers per game and had been reduced to dressing seven players at times because of injury. Stephens hasn’t won since its opener Nov 21.
The struggles might have effects reaching beyond this season. Sophomores Elisa Cash and Emily Sharp, who have carried the bulk of the scoring load this season, have decided not to return. Both said the Stars’ lack of progress factored into their decisions.
“To be honest, my knees just feel older than they used to,” Sharp said. “And I just don’t feel the program is headed in the right direction.”
Pavlovich remains optimistic. A first-year coach, Pavlovich said he hopes freshmen such as Diaz will fill the scoring void next year. He also expects to rely heavily on his first recruiting class.
“I told the girls that it’s kind of fitting that we made our last shot because we’re going to get nothing but better,” Pavlovich said.