Women's Basketball suffered a 97-90 loss on Sunday evening to Wallace State in Hanceville, Ala. in their season opener.
The story of the game was the ferocious comeback by the Lady Cougars in the second half. They were down 18 points at halftime to the Lady Lions and were down by nearly 25 points at a point of the first half. Cleveland State fought back and was able to bring the game within one point in the second half multiple times.
However, another story of the game was costly turnovers. With around a minute to go, the Lady Cougars were down just one point when they were called for a 10 second backcourt violation on which the Lady Lions then scored a basket on the next play. There were also a couple other turnovers that Wallace State towards the end of the game that allowed them to pull away for the victory.
Another couple of points of emphasis that head coach Evelyn Thompson relayed that her squad needed to work on was free throws and layups. The Lady Cougars were 32-42 from the line and also missed a handful of buckets in close.
"This was a tough loss, but it showed that we are a very talented team when we are able to come all the way back from 24 or 25 points down," said head coach Evelyn Thompson. "I think we learned a valuable lesson tonight about playing for 40 minutes."
Asjah Harrell lead the team with 32 points and three rebounds in her debut. Michaela Bennefield also chipped in 28 points and seven rebounds. "[Bennefield] really stepped it up not only in points… but also in leadership," Thompson said. "She provided the fight we needed to make our run."
Thompson also expressed pride in her team's effort tonight. "I am proud of the fight and effort to make this a very competitive game. I am looking forward to the rest of the season."
Cleveland State will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Snead State in their home opener. Tip off is set for 5:30 ET.