NASHVILLE, TN (WFIE) - The Kentucky Wesleyan College women’s basketball team opened a new season on Saturday as the Great Midwest Athletic Conference play tipped-off for the 2018-19 campaign. Five players reached double-double-figures while Kelsey Ivers recorded a double-double in the Panthers 82-71 win over Trevecca Nazarene.
The Panthers (3-2, 1-0 G-MAC) got off to a fast start as Lily Grimes commanded the offense and with her three-point basket midway through the opening quarter Wesleyan built a 12-4 lead. The hot-shooting was contagious as Keelie Lamb helped the Panthers build a 19-9 lead at the end of the opening frame.
The Trojans (1-4, 0-1 G-MAC) cut into the Panthers' lead (27-20) early in the second quarter after Callie Hackett’s free-throws. Shayla Wright stopped any momentum gained by TNU with a three-point basket that ignited a 12-0 rally that built a 39-20 lead with three minutes left in the half.
Jenna Martin tallied eight points in the opening half as the Panthers went into the locker-room shooting 53% and holding a 42-25 lead. The gap continued to grow in the second half as the Panthers continued to execute their offense and find open shots. With a 13-3 run late in the third quarter Wesleyan built 68-40 lead.
Wesleyan continued to hold a 20 point lead (73-53) with six minutes left in the game when the offense began to slow down and limit possessions. The Trojans chipped away late but never threaten.
Emma Johnson came off the bench to score 12 points and grab six rebounds. In total five players reached double-figures as Jenna Martin and Kaylee Clifford each scored 11 points. Lamb added 10 points while Ivers finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Grimes recorded nine points and five assists.
The Panthers will travel to Tiffin, Ohio on Thursday to play the G-MAC newcomer, the Dragons. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 PM CT.