BY RYAN HELD
Despite strong play from several players, the Franciscan University of Steubenville Lady Barons’ Basketball team failed to prevail in their season opener Saturday, losing to Bethany College.
The Lady Barons started the game well when sophomore Katie Rhodes came off the bench just after two minutes and scored the first three points of the game. This basket put Franciscan on a run scoring eight unanswered points. It was not until nearly four minutes in that Bethany managed to get on the board.
Franciscan’s offense slowed down near the midway point of the first half allowing Bethany to catch up. With about nine minutes left in the half, Bethany College took the lead on the scoreboard.
Franciscan senior Lacey Huck hit a milestone in her career with eight minutes left in the first half. After being fouled, Huck made both foul shots and scored her 1,000th point for the team.
Commenting on her performance, Huck said that she could not have done it without the support of her team and that the real credit goes to them. Huck finished the night with 17 points.
Scoring continued to be tight as the half progressed, but Bethany maintained a slight edge. At the end of the first half, Bethany College led by five points.
In the second half, Franciscan continued to see strong play from Huck as well as from sophomore Iliana Gonzales, who led the team in scoring with 21 points.
As the second half progressed, Bethany College showed an advantage in physicality. Their strength inside led them to outrebound the Lady Barons 32 to 27.
Bethany’s defensive pressure forced the Lady Barons into missing many shots as the half went on, letting them pull ahead. Bethany outscored Franciscan by nine points in the second half. At the final buzzer the score was 71-57.
Despite the loss, Coach Suzy Delaney said she was generally pleased with the team’s effort and that she expects them to grow throughout the season.
“Our expectations for today were to just go out there and start the season strong,” Delaney said. “We know it’s a process, the whole season. We are constantly just looking at where we are in the process.”
Franciscan University looks ahead to its next game against Chatham University on Nov. 19th.