Panthers Fall at #22 Kentucky Wesleyan in G-MAC Opener

Kennedy Schlabach (Photo by Ralph Schudel)
Kennedy Schlabach (Photo by Ralph Schudel)

OWENSBORO, Ky. – Sophomore Kennedy Schlabach (Millersburg, Ohio) poured in a season-high 18 points, but the effort was not enough in an 83-63 setback from Ohio Dominican women's basketball at No. 22 Kentucky Wesleyan.

ODU's loss snaps the team's four-game winning streak, dropping the squad to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in Great Midwest play. The nationally-ranked Purple Panthers are now 8-0 overall (1-0 G-MAC), and improve their home winning streak to 22 consecutive games.

Schlabach made 5-of-10 field goal attempts, including four of her eight tries from behind the arc. The sophomore was also four-for-four at the charity stripe and added a season-best five rebounds.

Joining Schlabach off the bench in double figures was senior Hannah Clark (Glenmont, Ohio), who had a season-high 10 points on four-of-nine shooting. Clark also grabbed four rebounds. Freshman Celeste Mershimer (Amanda, Ohio) pitched in eight points off the bench as the reserves provided 38 points for ODU.

Senior Brittleigh Macaulay (Big Prairie, Ohio) had all 11 of her points in the first half, while grabbing four boards as well. Classmate Alexa Fisher (Powell, Ohio) paced the Panthers with five assists.

The Black & Gold made six of their first nine shot attempts to take an early advantage, but turnovers allowed KWC to take a lead at the end of the first quarter. Schlabach nailed one of her triples as time expired in the frame to close the gap to 20-17.

KWC though, opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 12 point lead, 29-17, with 7:35 left to play in the first half. ODU had cut its deficit to as little as five late in the frame, but the Purple Panthers would take a 42-34 advantage into the intermission.

The home side then expanded its lead to as many as 25 points in the third quarter, outscoring ODU 30-15 in the 10-minute period for a 72-49 edge. The Panthers rallied to win the fourth quarter, 14-11, but it was not enough in the 83-63 setback.

KWC enjoyed an edge in shooting, making 46.8 percent of its shots, while the Panthers were 23-of-57 for a .404 shooting clip. The Purple Panthers also made four more attempts from three-point range.

Ohio Dominican will look to bounce back and pick up their first G-MAC victory when the team travels to face Trevecca Nazarene at 2:00 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Contact: Tyler Jester