Stephens fades fast after losing first half momentum

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:28 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Down by five late in the first half, Missouri Valley women’s basketball coach Bill Wolf called a timeout to motivate his team.

“We missed a couple of shots and they started to hang their heads and I said, ‘We can’t get frustrated, we can’t hang our head, we’ve just got to keep shooting and our shots are going to fall.’”

After the timeout, the shots began to pour in for the Vikings.

Missouri Valley ended the first half on a 10-0 run and cruised to a 69-45 victory against Stephens on Monday night at Silverthorne Arena.

“(The run) was a big swing and we got our confidence and then we ended up taking our momentum from there,” Wolf said.

The Viking’s run made it hard for Stephens (4-20) to recover in the second half, and they were outscored 44-23 in the last 20 minutes.

“We were only down three (at halftime) but we hadn’t scored in four minutes,” Stephens coach Dane Pavlovich said. “It felt like we might have been down a little bit more because they rallied and scored the last 10 points of the half.”

Wolf said the biggest difference in the second half was that the shots finally started to fall for his team.

Senior Heather Davis led the Vikings (9-20) in the second half when she scored 14 of her 17 points.

“She leads the Heart of America Conference in 3-point shooting,” Wolf said. “Heather may be the best player that has played for me in terms of effort in practice, leadership and playing hard. It’s everything a coach would look for.”

Missouri Valley senior Jennifer Stokes added 11 points, including the Viking’s first five points, but Wolf said her leadership was her biggest contribution.

Pavlovich said his team’s offensive consistency was the difference between the two halves.

“We weren’t able to get the looks we wanted to get every time down the floor,” Pavlovich said. “Anytime we did get points, it was a struggle to get them. The execution just wasn’t there for 40 minutes like it has to be to beat a good team like Missouri Valley.”

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