Dashae Shumate made a big impression Saturday night at Loyola Academy — on the Ramblers and on her future college coach.
The Evanston senior scored a rare double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds to help the Wildkits bounce back from a conference loss Friday night with a 52-45 trimming of Loyola.
The Howard University recruit’s next coach was in attendance and got quite an eyeful as Shumate shot 8-for-14 from the floor and also collected three steals for the winners, now 10-2 overall.
“Dashae was obviously the key for us tonight,” said Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield, whose team bowed to Maine South 45-29 Friday night. “She hit some huge shots for us. When she makes up her mind to go to the basket, very few girls can stay with her. And she’s really dangerous when she’s hitting those outside shots, too.
“Tonight was exactly the opposite of the effort we had last night against Maine South. We had a relentless effort on the boards and I thought they showed a lot of character after a very poor effort. We haven’t even practice our zone defense — our second team probably runs it better than the starters do — but we had to play a lot of zone because of foul trouble tonight. We had a difficult time handling their post player (6-foot-1 junior Sarah Elston) early in the game, and if you don’t want to let the other team get the ball inside, you play zone.”
Shumate rose to the occasion with three of her teammates — Seara and Sierra Clayborn, and Leighah Wool — in foul trouble at various points in the non-conference contest. The Wildkits needed a 10-1 surge at the end of the third quarter to stretch the lead.
Sierra Clayborn totaled 9 points before fouling out in the final minute and Wool contributed 6 points and 9 rebounds for the winners. Loyola’s Maggie Nick led all scorers with 25 points for the 5-5 Ramblers.
Evanston enjoyed a slight 25-23 advantage after Nick tossed in a 3-point basket with 2 minutes, 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter. But the visitors responded with a 3-point basket by Seara Clayborn — from about 25 feet out — plus a blocked shot by Wool that resulted in a layup for Maureen Kerr at the other end.
Sierra Clayborn swished a 3-pointer and Shumate converted on a drive to the bucket with 17 seconds left to help Evanston ease to a 35-24 lead after three quarters.
Loyola did close to within 48-42 with 90 seconds remaining, but the Kits converted enough free throws (4-of-8) to keep the hosts from getting any closer.