BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – A monster double-double effort from junior forward Maria Tamburrino and stout defense against a quick-strike offensive side propelled the Roosevelt women's basketball team to a critical 92-88 road win over 12th-ranked Olivet Nazarene at McHie Arena on Wednesday night.
Tamburrino posted game-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the year for Roosevelt (19-5, 14-3 CCAC), which moved a half game into sole possession of first place in the conference standings with the victory.
Ashley Wilson and Danielle Tolbert each scored 13 points for the Tigers (17-4, 13-2 CCAC).
The win was the fourth all-time over a nationally-ranked program for the Lakers and the second decision over a Top 25 foe this season. Both such victories were against the Tigers, who were ranked 13th back on Nov. 24, when the Lakers picked up a 112-96 win in Chicago.
The quick shots, frenetic pace and full-court presses that were on display in the first meeting between the two teams was in full view once again, and like that first meeting in November, it was Roosevelt that came away victorious thanks to Tamburrino's offense (identical 27-point outputs) and defense that forced the Tigers into poor shooting.
Olivet Nazarene was held to 27 percent shooting this time around, as the hosts made just 28 of their whopping 103 attempts from the floor.
The game was back and forth most of the way, and the Lakers built up a six-point lead after a McCaslin three and a bucket from Tamburrino just before the two-minute mark. Olivet cut its deficit to three with a little over a minute remaining in regulation, but the Roosevelt defense held and induced a pair of late Tiger turnovers to seal the win.
The Lakers survived 44 turnovers of their own during the game, with 48 percent shooting from the field and a slight rebounding advantage (64-60) also aiding their cause.
"Our players played their hardest for 40 minutes and we were able to steal a big road win," said Roosevelt head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells. "We struggled with a few too many turnovers, but our girls never got too frustrated. We shot a great percentage on the game, and I thought we played really good defense in the second half.
"Maria gave us exactly what we needed," Scherr-Wells said of Tamburrino. "She played so hard that I thought we might have to carry her off the floor when the buzzer sounded. Devin and Erin made huge buckets for us throughout the game, and Tori [Clark], Jennie [Van Hook] and Becky [Williford] were tough as nails being our primary ball handlers against their press.
"It was a phenomenal team win. "
Roosevelt seeks its historic 20th victory of the season, which would be a first in program history, next Wednesday, Jan. 30 against Trinity Christian in Palos Heights, Ill. That game begins at 5:30 p.m.