Dons top UIC in Marchesano’s debut

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Behind a career day from Shayla Sellers, Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball beat UIC 69-63 on Thursday night (Nov. 18) in the Gates Sports Center.

Sellers had career-highs in both points and rebounds, of which she had 23 and 11, respectively, for her first-career double-double. Sellers scored 20 of her points and grabbed eight of her rebounds in the second half. She was 7-of-11 from the floor, 5-of-6 from 3 and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

Ryin Ott, the Horizon League Freshman of the Week, followed up her honor with a double-double of her own to the tune of 14 points and 10 boards. Her sister, Riley scored 13 points and recorded four steals and three assists.

The Mastodons and Flames were all square through the first quarter. After UIC led 16-12, Riley Ott converted an old-fashioned 3-point play, then Amellia Bromenschenkel dropped in a layup to give the ‘Dons a lead. UIC hit a free throw to even it up.

UIC only led for 20 seconds in the second quarter. The ‘Dons led for 7:53. Shayla Sellers scored her first points of the game at the 8-minute mark, a 3-pointer from the corner. After Sylare Starks hit a runner in the paint to go up three, UIC closed the half on a 5-0 run.

After the halftime break, the ‘Dons went on a 6-0 run, with four points from Riley Ott and two from Aubrey Stupp. Later on, the ‘Dons had their best stretch of the night, a 7-0 Sellers run. The junior had a 3-pointer sandwiched between two layups on three-straight possessions. UIC hit a 3-pointer to stem the tide, but Ryin Ott knocked in 3-point play like her sister did in the first quarter.

Purdue Fort Wayne never trailed in the fourth quarter, leading for all but 13 seconds. The lead grew to as many as 12 (62-50) after Sellers buried a 3-pointer, but the Flames cut it all the way to two (65-63). Sellers and Stupp were a combined 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 17 seconds.

The Mastodons out-rebounded UIC 22-11 in the second half and 13-4 in the final quarter. In the last 10 minutes of play, the Mastodons shot 10-of-12 from the charity stripe.

This is Purdue Fort Wayne’s first 1-0 start to league play since 2013-14 and first 2-0 start since 2019-20. UIC falls to 0-2, 0-1 Horizon League. The Mastodons’ next scheduled game is a 2 p.m. game against IUPUI on Saturday, November 20.

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