Panthers Let Lead Slip Away At Saint Joseph's

Panthers Let Lead Slip Away At Saint Joseph's

RENSSELAER, Ind. – Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team let an 11 point fourth quarter lead slip away as the Panthers fell 62-56 at Saint Joseph's Thursday night in non-conference play.

The Panthers took a 48-37 lead at the start of the quarter, but were outscored 27-12 in the period, including a 18-5 run over the game's final 4:47.

ODU fell to 3-1 with the loss, while the Pumas improved to 2-1.

The Panthers were hampered by turnovers and poor free throw shooting. ODU committed 23 turnovers and shot just 5-of-14 at the line after entering the game shooting at a 78.5 percent clip.

Jumpers by junior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) and senior Melissa Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) in the first minute of the period helped the Panthers to that 48-37 lead. The Pumas cut it to 48-44, but freshman Cayla Bensman (Anna, Ohio) knocked down a three to put ODU in front by seven with 4:47 left.

From there it was all SJC, as the Panthers made just two field goals down the stretch. A layup by junior Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) gave ODU its last lead at 56-54 with 1:52 left, but the Panthers missed their final three shots and Saint Joseph's scored on its last four possessions.

Junior Tori Beth Leader (West Portsmouth, Ohio) scored 14 points, hitting four three pointers, and Bates and junior Kayla Cook (Westerville, Ohio) each scored 11 points. All of Cook's scoring came in a two-minute stretch late in the third quarter as ODU wiped out a 33-32 deficit to take a 44-35 advantage into the fourth.

The Panthers, though, shot just 21-of-59 (35.6 percent) from the field and were outrebounded 41-37.

ODU trailed 7-0 early in the game, but outscored the Pumas 25-9 over the last 16 minutes of the first half to take a 25-16 lead at the break.

Ohio Dominican remains on the road to take on Trevecca Nazarene at 7 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday.

Contact: Scott Miles