The Southwestern College women’s basketball team forced 16 Ottawa University turnovers and turned them into 25 points Thursday at Wilson Field House.
Many of those came in the final 10 minutes of the game when No. 22-ranked Southwestern rallied to take the lead and build a 51-43 advantage with 4:21 remaining.
Ottawa came as close as four, but the Lady Moundbuilders held on for a 59-54 victory.
“We did not do a great job of reading the defense,” Ottawa coach Bruce Tate said. “We tried to make habit passes. They do a great job of extending their zone. They have to learn how to make plays. We got stagnant against the zone.
“We tried to throw numerous things at the them. Turnovers turned into a lot of points for them. Our point guards did not make plays they are capable of making.”
Southwestern had a tough time generating offense out of its offensive sets.
Defense and offensive rebounding turned the tide toward the nationally ranked squad.
“We gave up some second-chance points,” Tate said. “When they had to work for their points, they were not scoring a lot. We can’t allow easy baskets like that.”
Southwestern shot 40 percent in the second half and finished at 32 percent for the game.
“We knew they would make more baskets,” Tate said of Southwestern’s second-half performance.
The Lady Moundbuilders are one of the top scoring teams in the NAIA and leads the conference.
Tate was happy with the defensive effort, holding Southwestern under 60 points.
“I am not satisfied at playing at this level,” Tate said. “Take a step forward and a step back. They are used to winning. It was a tough loss. We have to take the good out of this and build on it. We are playing for position.
“We responded to the challenge.”
Ottawa led for a lot of the game, including a 26-23 halftime lead. Southwestern took the lead for good with a 5-0 spurt to snap a 38-38 tie with just under nine minutes left in the game.
Ottawa junior Shauna McClure hit two treys a minute apart to pull Ottawa within 53-49 with 2:55 remaining. She led Ottawa with 19 points and snapped out of a shooting slump.
“Shauna made some big threes,” Tate said. “She stuck with it. She has been struggling.”
Tate said Ottawa is on the verge of turning the corner.
“We really did some good things,” he said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win it.”
Ottawa has not been good at closing out games this season.
Tate said that is one area his team needs to improve, especially since he figures on there being several close games yet to be played.
The coach said Ottawa, which has been a strong-minded team, does not always make the right play at the right time.
“We talked about that in [Friday’s] practice,” Tate said.
Southwestern ran several defenders at Ottawa’s leading scorer Amanda Ramsey, who went 3-for-10 from the field for eight points and nine rebounds.
Tate said Ramsey did get 10 shots and needs to hit a couple of more and be better from the free-throw line.
Ottawa (6-11, 2-5) plays 3 p.m. today at home against Saint Mary.
Southwestern (59) — Bryan 12, Reichenberger 9, Shaffer 12, Tennyson 4, Rickey 6, Hobbs 2, Zoglmann 6, Cranmer 2, Watson 4.
Ottawa (54) — Dowell 5, Ramsey 8, Meier 2, McClure 19, Neptune 2, Thomas 1, Buckles 7, Boore 10.