ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Bekki Kalaydjiev scored a team-high 13 points, but it was not enough as the Florida Southern College women's basketball team (4-3) fell to Northwest Missouri State (4-2) in the opening game of the Fairfield Inn Classic, played on Tom Smith Court in Looney Arena at the Missouri Western State University Fieldhouse.
Host MWSU will face McKendree University in Game Two of the two-day classic later tonight. Florida Southern will face MWSU tomorrow, at 4:30 p.m., in the Classic's final game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
1st Quarter | Both teams started slowly in the neutral site venue, each making only one of their first five shots each. Kalaydjiev, a sophomore point guard, made FSC's first shot of the game, a layup on the Mocs' first possession. Shooting woes plagued the Mocs, who started the game 2-for-12 until freshman forward Kaja Wroblewska grabbed an offensive rebound and made the putback to make the score 6-5 with 2:28 remaining. Kalaydjiev made a layup on Southern's next possession to stretch the lead to 8-5. For Kalaydjiev, it was her third made basket in as many shot attempts. For the quarter, the Mocs shot 23.5% (4-of-17) from the floor, while holding NWMSU to 33.3% (3-of-9). NWMSU held a slim 9-8 lead after ten minutes of play.
2nd Quarter | The Mocs defense continued to play tough, holding the Bearcats to only one make on their first seven shots in the second stanza. NWMSU went on an 8-0 run midway through the quarter, until Kalaydjiev made a layup on a pass from freshman forward Sara Wroblewska making the score 20-11. Freshman forward Marte Moe made a jumper as time expired in the half, and the Mocs trailed 28-15 at the half. During the first twenty minutes, 14 of FSC's 15 points came in the paint.
3rd Quarter | FSC came out shooting, with back-to-back baskets made by senior forward Katerina Pazzaglia-Khomenko to trim the lead down to nine, at 28-19. Minutes later, sophomore forward Ashley Shell made a short jumper in the paint, and the led was down to seven. Both teams struggled on the offensive end, until the Bearcats made a three-pointer to push the lead to 35-23 with just over two minutes to play. After three periods, the Bearcats led, 38-25.
4th Quarter | FSC went on a quick 6-0 run midway through the final quarter, on baskets by junior guard Julia Jenike, Kaja Wroblewska, and Sara Wroblewska. But the Bearcats rallied, and led by as many as 17 down the stretch and won the game, 52-37.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- The Mocs dominated on the board holding a 38-33 edge. More specifically, Florida Southern grabbed 13 caroms on the offensive end, resulting in eight second chance points.
- Shooting was at a premium, as 32.1%, while the Bearcats shot just 35.7%.
- The Mocs shot 0-11 form behind the three-point arc, the first time this season FSC did not connect on a three-pointer. Meanwhile, NWMSU went 10-for-29.
- Florida Southern attempted only five free throws in the 40-minute game, making just one, by Kalaydjiev early in the second quarter. NWMSU made 12 of their 19 free throws.
- Southern led for just 3:42 in the game, all in the first quarter.
- 30 of the Mocs 37 points came in the paint.
- Florida Southern will face host Missouri Western State tomorrow in the final game of the Fairfield Inn Classic, The Moccasins are home four times in December with SSC contests against Saint Leo (Dec. 4) and Lynn (Dec. 14) before closing out the calendar year with non-conference games against Lindenwood (Dec. 19) and Drury (Dec. 20) at the Terrace Hotel Classic.