Women's Basketball Loses Lead, Opener
MCKENZIE, Tenn. – Asbury surprised No. 19 Bethel by taking control early in each half but were unable to sustain their leads for 40 minutes in a 69-51 loss to open the season. The Eagles led for the first 15 minutes but Bethel closed the half on a 23-5 run to take a 12 point lead into the break.
Asbury (0-1) took an early 4-2 lead and held on to lead for nearly 15 minutes as the game was turned into a very deliberate affair. The Eagles would shoot 50% from the floor in the first half, a big reason why they led early but would be undone by turnovers. Bethel forced 21 Eagle turnovers and turned that into 21 points.
The young Eagles, all five starters are freshmen or sophomores and only two juniors played, showed some resiliency coming back in the second half to take a 45-44 lead. Three early three pointers helped Asbury overcome a 12 point half time deficit, but Asbury would shoot only 5-of-18 from long range on the night.
Three Eagles were in double figures and seven scored on the night led by Laura Carroll’s 14 points. Carroll shot seven-of-12 from the floor. Lakin Griffith scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds as she battled taller post players all night long. Christy Gemmell added 10 points off the bench. Caitlyn Figgins led Asbury with seven rebounds off the bench. Asbury only had eight assists on 22 made baskets.
Asbury finished the game shooting 43% from the field, Bethel shot 39% but the Lady Cats were able to get to the line much more. The Eagles were perfect from the free throw line but only had two attempts, Bethel on the other hand was 15-20 from the charity stripe as Asbury committed 22 fouls. Bethel used their size on the boards winning the battle 44-32. Molly Wallsmith led the Lady Cats with 17 points and Teena Carter had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
Bethel came in ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Division I Pre-Season Top 25, Asbury competes in NAIA Division II. The Eagles will battle their second straight NAIA Division I Top 25 team on Saturday as they battle No. 9 Freed-Hardeman University at 3:00 pm.