WESTVILLE, Ind. - Tiffin women's basketball opened their season at the Purdue Northwest Tournament on Friday evening, falling to the University of Illinois-Springfield 77-65.
In terms of shooting percentages, the two squads were not too far off from each other, but the difference was on the boards as the Prairie Stars outrebounded the Dragons 58-40, while also netting 16 second-chance points.
The game started slow for both teams, as Tiffin gained a 5-1 advantage over four minutes into the contest. The first quarter seesawed back-and-forth, with UIS taking a one-point lead, 16-15, at the end of the period.
However, the Prairie Stars were able to pull ahead in the second quarter, taking leads of as much as 12 points before back-to-back late triples from Brooke Wesner and Ali Schirmer helped cut the deficit to eight, 43-35, going into halftime.
The Dragons opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run as Schirmer knocked down another three and Jensen Hiegel and Aarion Nichols added buckets to bring the score to 43-42 in favor of the Prairie Stars. TU would go cold from the floor for the rest of the period, though, as the Dragons managed just one point in the remainder of the quarter, allowing UIS to build their lead back up to 12, 55-43.
Illinois-Springfield was able to keep their lead in double digits for the rest of the game, holding off Tiffin by the 77-65 score.
Three Dragons finished in double-figures, led by freshman Aarion Nichols' team-high 18 in her college debut. She was also just one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with nine on the evening. Annie Santucci and Schirmer were the other Dragons to break the 10-point mark, scoring 14 and 13, respectively.
Tiffin will make the quick turnaround and play their second and final game of the Purdue Northwest Tournament tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. against McKendree.