The Ohio University Eastern women's basketball team did something Tuesday night that it hasn't done in quite some time ... take a sound beating.
However, if the debuting Lady Panthers can take anything positive out of a 90-58 loss to invading Penn State-Beaver inside the Health and Physical Education Building just west of St. Clairsville, it's the fact the Lady Lions (2-1) aren't in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference.
"That's a very good basketball team," OUE head coach E.J. Schodzinski said of the deep and talented Keystone Staters. "They remind me of our teams in the past. They have depth, athleticism and they are aggressive. They forced us into mistakes, but I thought as the game went on, we got better."
OUE’S SARAH Neavin (33) looks for room to pass during Tuesday night’s game against Penn State-Beaver. The host Panthers dropped their season opener to the Lady Lions.
It couldn't have started any worse.
The Lady Lions snapped an early 2-all deadlock with a 22-9 run that bumped the count to 24-11 near the midway point of the first 20 minutes.
OUE played even for most of final 10 minutes, trailing 46-30 at the break.
Nineteen first-half turnovers spelled the Panthers' demise, and some were routine plays that just weren't made.
"We would maybe make three good passes in a sequence," Schodzinski said. "Then we would throw the fourth one away. We just weren't clicking."
Despite trailing by 16 at the half, the veteran OUE head coach liked his team's chances, if they could cut into that lead and get to within single digits early in the second half.
However, Penn State-Beaver never let OUE get that close as the lead continued to grow and grow and grow in the second half.
"We hung in there in the first half and I was hoping we could make it a 10-point game 4 or 5 minutes in, and I thought our frame of mind was good. I know we wanted to do it, but our bodies just wouldn't let us," Schodzinski added.
"We only played seven girls tonight and they played 13," he continued. "We just wore down in the second half. We were exhausted."
OUE's talented backcourt tandem of Alex Kuhn (Monroe Central) and Kelsey Holloway (Shadyside) led all scorers with 21 and 20, respectively. Sarah Neavin (Shadyside) grabbed eight of the Panthers' 40 rebounds.
The Lady Lions had five players in double digits. Leading the way were seniors Brittany Tomaselli, of East Liverpool, Brooke Mulneix and Roi'shay Woods with a dozen points each. Morgan Kurtz and Khalia Adams each tallied 11. They totaled 53 rebounds.
"We've got some potential," Schodzinski said of his team. "We just need to put this game behind us and move forward. I told the girls that we don't start playing for championships until February."
The Panthers finished with 30 turnovers, twice as many as the visitors.
OUE travels to Steubenville Thursday night to face Franciscan University in an 8 o'clock tip.
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