Sanders shines, but Mastodons fall to Leathernecks

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Sh’Toya Sanders recorded her second-straight double-double on Tuesday night (Feb. 4), but the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team fell to Western Illinois 83-74 in the Gates Sports Center.

Sanders finished with 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, making her the first Mastodon to record consecutive double-doubles since 2016. She broke her previous career-high of 17 that she set on Saturday (Feb. 1) against North Dakota.

The first half was all about free throws, as Purdue Fort Wayne and Western Illinois combined to go to the charity stripe 29 times in the first 20 minutes of play. The Mastodons cashed in on these opportunities, going 14 of 16 from the line. This helped the halftime lead for Western Illinois remain at only two. At the end of the game, Purdue Fort Wayne was 17 of 21 (81.0 percent) while Western Illinois was 20 for 33 (60.6 percent).

The Mastodons looked at their best midway through the second half, in which they went on a 10-0 run. Riley Ott made four of her game-high nine free throws, Ellie Dykstra made one of two, and Hannah Albrecht drained a 3-pointer. Ott got the assist on the trey, then followed it up with a bucket in the paint.

Western Illinois came out in the third quarter with an 11-point run that put the game out of reach for the Mastodons. The ‘Dons got as close as four on several occasions, but the Leathernecks never trailed again. They had two players go for 25 points: Evan Zars and Danni Nichols.

Purdue Fort Wayne finished the game with 10 turnovers, which is the fewest against a Division I opponent this season. Riley Ott was the best at sharing the sugar, as she dished out four assists for the ‘Dons. She was also the leading scorer at 18 points, and was one of four in double-figures. Albrecht had 17, Sanders had 14 and Anna Lappenküper netted 11.

Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 5-18, 1-9 Summit League while Western Illinois improves to 13-11, 7-4. The Mastodons are back in action on Saturday (Feb. 8) when they visit Denver for a 3 p.m. ET tip.

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