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After Mundelein’s Maggie Mahar scored 20 on Stevenson in the first half, Patriots coach Tom Dineen delivered a message to his team at halftime.
“We weren’t quite getting what we wanted to accomplish,” Dineen said. “We gave a challenge. She (Mahar) goes to get popcorn, go with her. She goes to the bathroom, go with her.”
The message was heard as the Patriots held the sophomore guard to two points in the second half en route to a 64-49 victory Saturday over Mundelein.
With the Patriots clamping down on Mahar, Mundelein (8-17, 5-8) was still able to take the lead late in the third quarter. Junior guard Lauren Rouse’s lay up with 1:40 left gave the Mustangs a short-lived 37-36 lead. Stevenson immediately responded with a 10-2 run. Six of those points came from senior forward Alex Elzinga. When she took a feed from freshman guard Chloe Ekenberg and scored, it was 46-39 Patriots with just under six minutes remaining in the game.
Stevenson (16-8, 9-3) never trailed by less than five points the rest of the game, as sophomore guard Sophia Way (game-high 22 points) made 8-of-8 free throws in the final quarter.
Mahar scored no fourth quarter points, her only second half basket coming midway through the third quarter.
“For four years, they’ve always been a tough, competitive team,” senior guard Kari Moffat said of Mundelein. “We came out in the second half knowing we were not going to let (Mahar) score. We had to come out strong and ready to guard her.”
Elzinga added 15 points and seven rebounds for Stevenson. Sophomore Taylor Buford was the only other Patriot in double digits with 11.