Slow start hurts LHU women against Bloomsburg

LOCK HAVEN — Slow starts are nothing new for the Lock Haven University women’s basketball team. They have battled through them all season long. Unfortunately Wednesday was just another one of those nights as LHU dropped a 62-54 contest to Bloomsburg.

“We just can’t be digging ourselves such a big hole in the first quarter,” said Lock Haven coach Jennifer Smith. “We have to mix some things up and figure that out. I do like our starting lineup we have now, but I don’t know what the answer is. I do know that we are going to keep trying.”

The handwriting on the wall became obvious from the start as Bloomsburg ran off nine unanswered points for a lead five minutes into the game before Kayla Henderson put LHU on the board with a layup.

Just as slow as the first five minutes were, the next five weren’t much better as Bloomsburg outscored LHU to take a 16-4 lead at the first quarter.

Hoping that things would get better, the Bald Eagles began playing better at both ends of the floor for a 15-13 advantage to cut the Bloom lead to 29-19 at halftime.

Two areas that hurt LHU during the first half were a poor shooting percentage (26.1) while they also committed 11 turnovers during the span.

“With a low shooting percentage and that amount of turnovers doesn’t equal success,” said Smith. “We have to take better care of the ball and not worry so much about our defenders. We need to get a beat down on defense and make some shots.”

The Bald Eagles started strong in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to single digits on a layup by Mansfield grad Ali Hilson. But as they did before, the Huskies put together a run down the stretch to outscore Loc Haven, 16-12, for the quarter to go up by 14 (45-31).

Trailing by as many as 19 points, Lock Haven put together a 15-2 run, cutting the Bloomsburg lead to six with 2-plus minutes left, but it was too little too late and the loss was in the books.

“One thing about our program is that regardless of the circumstances, we don’t quit,” said Smith. “We’ll battle and keep fighting, but what we need to do is put a complete game together so we can pick up some wins.”

Leading the Lady Eagles in the scorebook were Madison McHale with a team high 17 points. Lysa Mealing turned in yet another double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

For Bloomsburg, Taylor Montana came off the bench to lead all scorers with 19 points, Montana joined in doubles by Meghan Corridoni and Alex Ross with 10 points each.

BLOOMSBURG (5-13, 4-10 PSAC)

Taylor Montana 9-11 1-2 19; Meghan Corridoni 5-9 0-0 10; Alex Ross 5-10 0-2 10;  Morgan Klunk 3-9 3-4 9; Taylor Sneidman 3-5 1-2 9; Alyssa Mack 1-7 2-4 5; Marissa Molnar  0-1 0-0 0; Allie Barber 0-1 0-0 0; Casey Warley 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-55 7-14 62.

LOCK HAVEN (7-11, 4-10 PSAC)

Madison McHale 3-11 8-8 17; Lysa Mealing 3-11 4-6 10; Emily James 3-5 0-0 8; Becca Reilly 2-5 0-0 6; A. Dombrowski 2-4 1-2 5;  Kayla Henderson 2-6 Ali Hillson 1-1 0-0 2; A. McGill-Jefferson 1-7 0-4 2; Rileigh Devine 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 17-54 13-20 54.

Bloomsburg    16  13  16  17 — 62

Lock Haven    4  15  12  23 — 54

3-point goals: Bloomsburg 3-14 (Sneidman 2-4; Mack 1-7; Klunk 0-2; Molnar 0-1), LHU 7-18 (McHale 3-7; James 2-2; Reilly 2-4; Henderson 0-1; McGill-Jefferson 0-1; Devine 0-3). Fouled out: Bloomsburg-none; LHU-Mealing. Rebounds: Bloomsburg 36 (Klunk 9), LHU 34 (Mealing 10). Assists: Bloomsburg 15 (Ross 4), LHU 10 (Mealing 3). Total fouls: Bloomsburg 21, LHU 20. Technical fouls: Bloomsburg-none, LHU-none. A: 321.