ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The Fontbonne University women's basketball team put up a valiant come-from-behind effort against Central on Saturday afternoon, though the Dutch escaped with the 75-70 win.
The Griffins (3-4), shot 38.2 percent from the floor, drained 10 3-pointers, and got to the free throw line a season-high 24 times connecting on 18 of those attempts.
After netting a then career-high 16 points in the previous game, Jillian Venegas broke out once again with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including going 5-of-7 from downtown.
Rylee Stafford, meanwhile, posted a season-high 17 points on 4-of-10 shooting and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Central (3-7), snapped its six-game slide shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three. The team had five players in double-figures and were led by Kristin Hubert's 17 points. Kendall Brown contributed 14 on 6-of-10 shooting. Jenna Clark was the third Dutch player in double-figures with 12.
Central also got 31 bench points as Maci Gambell posted 13 in 20:00 minutes of action, while Bri Smith had 11 and four rebounds.
At the 7:20 mark of the first, the Griffins took a 7-6 lead on Raven Venegas' made layup. The Dutch went on to retake the lead and stretch its advantage out to 16-10 on Gambell's 3-pointer at 3:53. Fontbonne trimmed the deficit down to 18-16 on Sarah Schraut's bucket, but the Dutch closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run to have a 23-16 lead after one.
In the second, the Dutch connected on four straight free throws to take a 27-16 lead at 9:11. With 5:15 left, the Griffins trailed 34-24, however, the Griffins picked it up defensively forcing eight turnovers the final five-plus minutes, and that allowed them to close out on a 13-2 run to own a 37-36 lead at the break.
In the third, Riley Guffey's 3-pointer put Fontbonne out front 42-41 with 8:16 on the clock. Over the next four minutes, the Dutch went on a 9-0 run to gain the advantage back at 50-42.
The Griffins kept on battling and went on to tie the game up at 54-54 with 1:59 left on Stafford's layup. The two teams went bucket-for-bucket the rest of the way as Scharut's lay-up put Fontbonne down 60-57 heading into the fourth.
After the Dutch scored the first five points of the quarter, the Griffins stayed within striking distance on Jillian Venegas' 3-pointer to make it 65-60.
Later, at 2:44, the Griffins were down 69-67 after Jillian Venegas came away with the steal and scored the lay-up. However, that'd be as close as they'd get with Central fending off Fontbonne for the five-point win.
The Griffins return to action next Tuesday when they'll head down the street for an outing against WashU. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's basketball team.