2.6.14 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Cavs' Comeback Attempt Comes Up Short

Women's Basketball, 2014-02-06

(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) – A valiant comeback attempt by Walsh came up short as visiting Ashland came up on the positive end of an 85-75 decision in Alumni Arena. A cold start hurt the Cavaliers (7-14, 3-12) as they trailed the defending national champion Eagles (12-8, 10-6) by 20 late in the first half. A second half surge brought the Cavs within one point, but Ashland was too strong down the stretch.

After a cold start where Walsh was held scoreless for the first 4:36 of the game, the Cavs came back to tie Ashland at 13-13 with 11:29 to go in the opening period. Another polar vortex hit Walsh, however, as the Eagles went on a 19-2 run over the next 5:09. A 3-pointer by Taylor Woods eventually put Ashland up 32-22 with 3:56 left in the first half. The Eagles carried that momentum into halftime up 44-29.

The second half belonged to Walsh, but unfortunately the Cavs couldn’t get over the hump and take the lead. The Cavaliers caught fire midway through the half as Kelsey Funderburgh (So., 5-7, North Lewisburgh, OH/Triad/Morehead State) scored on a jumper that made the score 63-53 with 8:52 left in the game. It was the first points of a 12-0 run capped off by a Maggie Berry (Sr., 6-0, Cleveland, OH/St. Joseph Academy) 3-pointer with 6:29 left.

Ashland returned the favor with a 3-pointer of its own by Rachelle Morrison to go back up by four. On Walsh’s next trip down the floor, Funderburgh was fouled and sank both her free throws that put the Cavs back within a possession. She scored two more with 5:31 to go after a basket on the Eagles’ next opportunity, but it was the closest Walsh could get the rest of the way as Ashland eventually went back up by as many as 11.

Funderburgh was the leading scorer for the Cavs as she tallied a game-high 20 points. She was flanked by Jalynn Graham (Fr., 5-5, Columbus, OH/Central Crossing) who scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Bench scoring was a key component of the Ashland offense as three of its non-starters scored in double-figures. In total, the Eagles had five players score in double figures with Suzy Wallenhaupt and Melanie Poorman each scoring 16. Overall, the Eagles’ bench outscored Walsh’s 38-21.

Walsh rebounded from a poor first half where it shot 26.5 percent (9-of-34) from the field to make 43.2 percent (16-37) in the second stanza. On the boards, the Cavs held a 44-40 advantage over the Eagles.

The Maroon and Gold will return to action and finish a four-game home stand against Lake Erie this Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.