CARTERVILLE, Ill. – Five baskets by sophomore center Hannah Taulien in the third quarter helped revive the Mineral Area women’s basketball team from an offensive slumber on Wednesday.
But the inability to protect a 12-point lead over the last five minutes sent the Lady Cardinals reeling to their fifth loss in six games.
Tiaunna Watkins scored the winning basket in the closing seconds to finish with 16 points, and John A. Logan emerged with a 47-46 victory at home.
Mineral Area blanked the Lady Vols for three minutes, opened the fourth quarter with a basket from freshman Makenzy Smith. Hayley Winter later made it 44-32 with a 3-pointer.
Watkins, who entered the contest with the second-highest scoring average in the nation, spurred a key 10-0 run before delivering a victory for her team.
John A. Logan (8-5) shot just 30 percent from the field overall, but also forced Mineral Area (8-8) into 24 turnovers while committing 12.
Winter responded from a scoreless effort against Three Rivers to notch a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Cardinals.
Both offenses struggled mightily throughout the first half until the Lady Vols used a 7-0 spurt to take a 23-16 halftime lead.
Taulien provided a dominant stretch in the post off accurate entry passes to quickly compile 10 of her 12 points. Winter followed with a pair of threes to highlight a 23-7 MAC edge in the third.
But the Lady Cardinals could manage no more than eight points in any other quarter, and wasted a 7-of-13 effort from beyond the arc. They attempted just two free throws in the contest.
Laura Dick made six assists for Mineral Area, which is scheduled to host Crowder in Region 16 action on Saturday afternoon.