Ladies basketball (1-0) began its season with a comeback victory over the Muskingum University Muskies (New Concord, Ohio) on the road Tuesday night. While the Ladies scored only 34 points through the first three quarters, the offense erupted for 32 points in the final quarter to down the Muskies 66-62.
The Ladies got off to a quick start in the first quarter, making three of their first four shots to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Muskingum immediately struck back, scoring 12 straight points. Despite a late run, the Ladies finished the quarter down 14-10 to the Muskies.
Muskingum built on its momentum in the second quarter, scoring 10 straight points after a pair of Kenyon free throws to double up the Ladies 24-12. The Ladies ended the quarter on a 12-5 run to cut the Muskingum lead to just five points, but finished the first half trailing 29-24. Muskingum extended their lead to 41-34 during the third quarter, and appeared to be en route to securing their first victory of the season.
Having weathered the challenges of the first three quarters, the Ladies began the fourth quarter with a scoring binge. Muskingum began the fourth quarter by extending its lead to double digits, 48-37, but Lane Davis ’19 cut the lead to eight by drawing a foul on a successful layup and completing the three-point play. After Muskingum made a 3-pointer to take its lead back to 11, Ladies guard Miranda Diesz ’17 responded with a 3-pointer of her own to trim the lead back to 8.
Diesz’s 3-pointer appeared to spark the Ladies’ offense, as the team then stormed back with 11 straight points, including a 3-pointer by junior guard Sidney Cera, to take a three-point lead. The lead was the Ladies’ first since their 6-0 lead early in the first quarter. Muskingum responded with a 3-pointer to tie the game, but the Ladies finished the game on a 12-8 run to claim their first win of the season.
Several Ladies had standout performances in the victory. Forward Bailey Dominguez ’17 filled up the box score with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes. Dominguez played a critical role in the Ladies’ late rally, scoring 13 of her 21 points in the fourth quarter. Lane Davis ’19 scored just five points in the win but was huge on the boards, grabbing five offensive and five defensive rebounds. While the Ladies shot just 27.7 percent from the floor, they out-rebounded Muskingum 54-39 and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, leading to plenty of second-chance opportunities.
Ladies Head Coach Suzanne Helfant was thrilled with how the team performed in its first game of the year. “We lost a lot of close games last year and I believe this win points to our improved mental toughness in pressure situations,” Helfant said. “We talk endlessly about the fact that winners adjust and we were able to do that last night.”
The Ladies play tomorrow at 5 p.m. against Olivet College (Olivet, Mich.). The team is scheduled to play four more games over Thanksgiving break.