By Mike DeVader, Reinhardt Director of Athletic Communications & Media
GRAYSON, Ky. – After being outscored by 11 points in the second quarter and falling behind, 48-44, Reinhardt women's basketball clamped down on Kentucky Christian on defense and poured the ball in the basket on its way to a 95-83 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) win on the road.
The perfect start to the year continues as the Eagles improve to 6-0 overall and 5-0 within the AAC.
Nearly all five starters hit double-digits for the hometown team, as a pair of 20-plus-point performances – Catherine Shope (25 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals) and Bethany Headrick (22 points and seven rebounds – were just a couple of the highlights on an offense that nearly put up triple digits.
"We feel extremely fortunate to make this lengthy ride home with a victory in-hand," head coach Toby Wagoner said. "We didn't have our best game (credit KCU) today, but our ladies found a way to get it done. I suppose it is not realistic to have your best game every night and therefore good teams find a way overcome those obstacles to complete their task. I know I keep saying it, but I love and respect this team so much. There is never any doubt in our team's effort, attitude and determination. Trusting the process requires each one of us to believe in each other and that is exactly what they did. Our returners provide incredible leadership on a daily basis; and that is exactly what they did today. I thought we started the game off with poise and great energy, but KCU did as well. They have a very good team and were definitely prepared for us. They took the lead and control in the second quarter with great effort and shooting. They really did a nice job of executing their game plan and got hot from deep (60 percent). No doubt, they were playing well.
Wagoner said he believed the Eagle senior leadership stepped up at halftime and that is why Reinhardt was able to overcome halftime deficit. The defense was much better in the second half, and that is what he is trying to instill in the squad day-in and day-out.
That philosophy showed up in the final two periods, where the Knights combined for just 35 tallies after putting up 29 points in the second quarter alone. The smothering defense allowed for the offense to again find a rhythm and pull away in the final 10 minutes for another conference victory.
Amberlee Zeller also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a trio of assists. At the point, Symone Williams was the fourth player to hit double figures with 12 tallies, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
Brylee Puckett had seven points off the bench.
In total, the Eagles made 36 shots out of 75 attempts (48 percent) while making 10 shots from beyond the arc in the win.
After the hot second quarter to regain the advantage, Kentucky Christian cooled off the rest of the way and was held to just 37 percent shooting despite making 12 treys.
The team comes back home for another conference clash against Brenau (Ga.) on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m.
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