The Bruins women fell to the Emmanuel College Lions 75-54 in Tuesday’s home opener.
In spite of the loss, the home crowd in the Davis Field House was a welcome break for the players, who had spent the past eight games on the road.
“We were really excited to show the students how far we’ve come,” sophomore forward Kourtney Hoefler said. “I felt less pressure than the first game of the season,” she said.
Kendra Jeffcott opened the scoring for the Bruins after an offensive rebound by Kim Spiecker. On the next possession, Trisha Irving hit a baseline runner to put the Bruins up 4-1. Breanna Bullard nailed a three-pointer as the shot clock expired, and the Bruins led 7-1.
Emmanuel scored five straight points, but Spiecker kept the Bruins in front at 9-6.
Freshman guard Chalice Pack came off the bench to provide some strong play just when Emmanuel started to pull ahead. Pack scored a long jumper to keep the Bruins within one before hitting a three-pointer. Emmanuel took the lead again, but Pack stole the ball before driving down court to score a layup, despite getting fouled.
Emmanuel began to take control, however, especially on the defensive end, and the Bruins trailed by 14 at the half.
Throughout the game, Emmanuel dominated the offensive glass, which resulted in many second chance points.
Coach Mike LeViere highlighted the Bruins’ need to clamp down on rebounding. “We took two-thirds of the shots they took,” Coach LeViere said. “We gave [Emmanuel] 20 more shots than us.”
Emmanuel’s stingy defense kept the Bruins at bay, and they were unable to close the gap in the second half as the game ended 75-54. Jeffcott was the highest scorer for the Bruins with 13 points.
Both Hoefler and Irving said the team progressed in many ways since the first game of the season because the players spent so much time together on and off the court.
The Bruins will try to find a way to generate offensive pressure when they face Southern Wesleyan University Tuesday at home.