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Lady Panthers’ late comeback comes up short at Ashland

Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC)
Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC)
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 11:29 PM CST
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ASHLAND, Ohio. (WFIE) - The Kentucky Wesleyan College women’s basketball team enjoys the challenge of playing ranked teams and Saturday was no exception as the Panthers took on No. 8 Ashland. Charles Kate Gymnasium is always a tough place to play as Wesleyan owned the fourth quarter, making a furious comeback only to fall 74-66.

Neither team held more than a one possession lead in the opening quarter, but it was the Eagles (12-1, 7-0 GMAC) who went into the locker-room with a 38-32 lead. The contest was tied at 27 with three minutes left in the half, but Ashland outscored Wesleyan 11-5 in that stretch to edge ahead. Both Cali Nolot and Tahlia Walton finished the first 20 minutes with eight points.

Ashland scored the first 13 points to start the second half and led by as many as 26 points in the frame. The Eagles made half of their attempts from the field in the frame (9 of 18) in taking a 63-41 lead after three quarters.

However, like in so many games before the Panthers proved to be the best team late in the game. The deficit stood at 22 points (71-49) with 4:37 left in the contest when Mariah Edmonds started a rally with a three-point basket. Nolot converted after an Ashland miss as did Edmonds again.

The Panthers (9-5, 6-2 GMAC) forced another turnover on the ensuing possession and Nolot again knocked-down a jumper to pull Wesleyan within 71-58. The run did not stop there as Emma Leis buried a three to cut the Ashland lead to 10 points. The Panthers scored 17 unanswered points and pulled within 71-66 with a minute left in the game.

Ashland limped to the finish as the Panthers simply ran out of time to pull off another upset. Nolot scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 19 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Walton added 12 points and three assists. Jordyn Barga added six points and eight rebounds.

The Panthers’ road trip continuers as they will travel to Pepper Pike, Ohio on Thursday for a Great Midwest match-up with Ursuline. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 PM CT.

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