Updated: Saturday, 16 Feb 2013, 10:56 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 16 Feb 2013, 10:56 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- First the University of Saint Francis rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Mt. Vernon Nazarene University 66-58 on Saturday afternoon. The win gave the Lady Cougars a share of their first regular-season conference since 2005-06.
Then around 4 p.m., USF lost -- the coin flip to determine the top seed in the Crossroads League Tournament that opens on Tuesday night. Indiana Wesleyan University, the NAIA Top 25 No. 1-ranked team, won the coin flip that breaks a tie in the league standings.
USF will open tournament play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Hutzell Athletic Center against the No. 7 seed, Marian University.
USF improved to 27-3 overall and finished 16-2 in CL competition. The Lady Cougars bounced back in the final 20 minutes by outscoring MVNU 40-25 with senior Kayla Drake scoring 14 of her team-leading 19 points for USF. Skylarr Shurn was knocked out of the game midway through the first half taking her 15.1 scoring average with her, but Kalah Baer stepped up to score 15 points off the bench and grabbed 10 rebounds for a rare off-the-bench double-double.
Freshman Brooke Ridley added 10 second-half points for USF and finished with 13 points. Senior Meghan Slusher scored seven of her 11 points in the final 20 minutes helping USF to 50 percent shooting in the second half. Drake rainbowed in three 3-pointers in the second half.
MVNU (8-21, 5-13 CL) led 33-26 at halftime on 50 percent shooting overall and from 3-point range. The Cougars hit on 4-of-8 shots from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.
USF forced 11 MVNU turnovers in the second half and the Lady Cougars only committed two during the same stretch.
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