EVANSVILLE — A torrid third quarter was too much for the Washington Hatchets as Evansville Memorial claimed a 66-49 win on Friday.
Washington (6-14) led 27-25 at halftime and had extended that lead to 34-30 midway through the third quarter before the Tigers exploded. Memorial (14-6) reeled off 14 straight points in a span of four minutes to take a 44-30 lead, Though the Hatchets were able to rip off eight straight points of their own to end the streak, Memorial would still end up taking a 47-42 lead into the final eight minutes of action.
The Tigers missed just two shots in the third quarter, which Memorial claimed by a 22-15 count on 9-11 shooting. Memorial started the fourth quarter strong as well, going on a 10-3 run to extend the lead to 57-43 with 5:10 remaining.
Washington’s found the mark from outside but couldn’t keep pace with the hot shooting Tigers (16-25 in the second half). The Hatchets connected for 10 3-pointers but were only able to net six baskets from inside the arc and were outscored from the free throw line 10-7.
For Washington coach Gene Miiller, it was the disparity in the offensive statistics (Memorial hit six 3-pointers but outscored WHS 40-12 inside the line) and the quality of shots Memorial was getting that made the difference.
“They shot the ball very well, but part of it was they had a lot of good shots. They beat us down inside in the paint, and we never did solve it, didn’t keep them out of the paint,” said Miiller. “The first half we did a much better job of keeping the ball out of the paint and surrounding it if they did get it down there. They beat us down in the paint, and they beat us on the offensive glass. As I always say, the team that scores the most points in the paint is the team that usually wins the ballgame.”