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Lady Cougars kick off their 2016-2017 season

The MVNU women’s basketball team (2-1) kicked off the season with a 78-64 loss at the University of Rio Grande then rebounded for two straight wins against Trinity International University and the University of Northwestern Ohio.

“Overall, we played really well except for rebounding in the first half,” Cougars Head Coach Amanda Short said of the lone loss.

The Red Storm out-rebounded the Lady Cougars 24-13 during the first 20 minutes of play, grabbing 11 of the 15 offensive rebounds.

“We dug ourselves in a hole in the first half,” and were not able to come back, Short said.

During the second half the Lady Cougars outscored the Red Storm by two points, but the first half deficit was too big to overcome.

“We fought to get back in, but could not overcome the 16-point first half deficit,” Short said. “On the offensive end, we got a lot of great looks and pushed the ball really well.”

The Cougars received great contributions from their guards, juniors Natalie Carpenter and Sierra Basista who chipped in 19 and 17 points respectively.

The first win of the season came in front of a home crowd on Friday. The Cougars battled Trinity International University and won 65-56.

“We came out strong the first quarter and had some great looks on the offensive end,” Short said.

Senior Megan Beidelman racked up 24 points, 20 rebounds, and six assists, powering the Lady Cougars past the Trojans. Senior Natalie Thomas chipped in 33 minutes off the bench, putting up five points and pulling down four rebounds.

Short described Beidelman and Thomas as the Lady Cougars’ keys to success.

“Beidelman played with a lot of grit and took control on the offensive end and on the boards,” Short said. “Thomas played some key minutes off the bench and shut down one of their key players.”

The ladies picked up their second straight win on Saturday, pulling out a 49-42 victory over the University of Northwestern Ohio.

“We want to earn respect in the Crossroads League and win on the road. Both of those were accomplished on Saturday,” Beidelman said after chipping in 10 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

“We are becoming more mentally tough and it showed, going into the fourth quarter down two, and then winning by seven,” Beidelman added.

The Lady Cougars will take five days off before another weekend of back-to-back games as part of the MVNU homecoming festivities.

The women’s team will host Concordia University on Friday at 5 p.m. The men’s team will host Lourdes University immediately following. Both teams will return to the court Saturday for a double header. The Lady Cougars will tip off against Indiana University East at 3 p.m.

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