MANSFIELD - Going into its PSAC-East game with Kutztown, the Mansfield women's basketball team was winless in five chances, including four losses by single digits.
It was more the same on Wednesday night at Decker Gymnasium, as the Lady Mountaineers fell to Kutztown, 69-64.
"It is possibly one of the most frustrating things that I have ever been involved in during my entire basketball career, both as a player and as a coach," Mansfield head coach Alison Tagliaferri said.
After a couple of ties in the early minutes, the Lady Mountaineers (0-6, 0-3 PSAC) ran off six straight points to take a 10-6 lead. However, Kutztown turned to its pressure and went on a 12-0 run for an eight-point lead.
Mansfield was guilty of eight turnovers in the first eight minutes, 19 for the first half and 33 overall.
"That has been the case in every game we played this year," Tagliaferri said. "You can't turn the ball over 33 times against any PSAC team and expect to come out on top. We did not show up to play at all in the first half. With 19 of those in the first half, that (slow start) has been a focus all year. It is something that we can control because at the end of the day they weren't even pressuring us outside the first media timeout.
"What it does is give them more opportunities to score and at the same time, take them away from yourself. There is no magic coaching and you can wave to change things when you are just giving the other team the ball."
Turnovers and missed opportunities continued to plague Mansfield until Kutztown (4-2, 2-0) took a 38-22 lead at the break.
In addition to the turnover blues, lack of scoring balance was evident in the first half as Mansfield's 22 points were scored by just three players, including none from the bench.
"We aren't very deep and experienced on our bench with injuries and some other things that have been going on thus far this year," Tagliaferri said. "The bottom line is that we just didn't come to play in the first half. We didn't try to score, we didn't try to get to the free throw line and basically, we were just kind of letting them do what they wanted to do."
Trailing by 16 at halftime, the Lady Mountaineers clawed their way back to 54-53 and eventually tied the game at 56 with six minutes left on a Megan McSwain 3-pointer.
Four minutes later, the Lady Mountaineers took the lead on a layup by McSwain, but Kutztown again battled back to lead by one (63-62) with 1:08 left before winning by five.
McSwain led Mansfield with 21 points, all in the second half. Jena Matter added 18 and Katie Fitzpatrick 14.
"I just wasn't as aggressive as I should have been in the first half," McSwain said. "I kind of let my teammates see what they had first, but in the second half, I knew that someone had to step up and help out. When we went down 16, I was able to hit a couple of shots and I realized that I had the hot hand so I just tried to take over from there."
Jess Harvey led Kutztown with 19 points. Advia Campbell and Alyssa Bonenberger added 14 and 12, respectively.
KUTZTOWN (4-2, 2-0 PSAC)
Jess Harvey 8-15 2-2 19; Advia Campbell 5-9 4-7 14; Alyssa Bonenberger 5-13 2-2 12; Nicole Donahue 4-7 0-1 8; Natalya Lee 0-10 6-6 6; Kelsey Watson 3-8 0-1 6; Elisa Gaffney 1-1 1-2 4; Kara Funk 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-65 15-21 69.
MANSFIELD (0-6, 0-3 PSAC))
Megan McSwain 6-11 6-6 21; Jena Matter 7-12 4-6 18; Katie Fitzpatrick 6-11 2-2 14; Alyssa DeRichie 4-11 0-0 8; Molly Wood 1-2 0-0 2; Katie Yale 0-3 1-2 1; Bridget Carney 0-0 0-0 0; ALLEN, Kayla 0-1 0-0 0; Maria Kelleher 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 13-16 64.
Halftime - Kutztown 38-22. 3-point goals- Kutztown 2-11 (Harvey 1-4; Gaffney1-1; Bonenberger 0-1; Lee 0-4; Funk 0-1), Mansfield 3-9 (McSwain 3-5; Fitzpatrick 0-1; DeRichie 0-1; Allen 0-1; Kelleher 0-1). Fouled out- Matter. Rebounds- Kutztown 33 (Bonenberger 9), Mansfield 37 (DeRichie 9). Assists- Kutztown 17 (Lee 5), Mansfield 15 (Fitzpatrick 6). Total fouls- Kutztown 14, Mansfield 21. Technical fouls- None. A-460.