GAMBIER — The Kenyon College women’s basketball team stumbled a bit in the early portion of Tuesday evening’s contest at Tomsich Arena, but the Ladies regrouped to net a 65-54 non-conference victory over the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies.
Muskingum (0-4) took the Ladies by surprise, scoring the game’s first eight points and then extending its lead to 17-5 before Kenyon made a quick run to close out the first quarter with the Muskies ahead, 21-12. In that opening period, Muskingum shot 56.3 percent (9-of-16), while Kenyon shot just 25.0 percent (5-of-20).
The Ladies (4-0) then made some adjustments, especially on the defensive end, during second quarter play. They held Muskingum to just four field goals and 11 points. Meanwhile, sophomore Ellie Schaub started to heat up for Kenyon. She poured in nine points in the second quarter alone.
With 2:05 left on the clock, senior Sharon Hull drained a jumper that gave the Ladies their first lead, at 32-31. A minute-and-a-half later, Jessica Gerber, also a senior, polished off a layup that put Kenyon in front 34-32 at the half.
The third quarter was rough for both offenses, which combined for just five field goals and 24 missed shots. After Muskingum’s Devyn Bonner tied the game at 36 with 8:21 showing on the clock, neither team scored again for the next six minutes. The Ladies, however, got new life with a put-back from freshman Bridget Molnar followed by a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Gerber.
That spark carried over into the final quarter of play, in which the Ladies scored 24 points, hit 11-of-13 free throw attempts and did not turn the ball over once. Schaub poured in another nine points in that final frame. Gerber matched that total and Molnar added six more points and a couple of key blocks.
Molnar ended up blocking five Muskingum shots throughout the game and became the first Kenyon player to reach that total since Charlotte Bussema did so against Wittenberg University in February of 2015. In addition to her block total, which was just one shy of the Kenyon single-game record, Molnar also grabbed five rebounds and scored 10 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting performance.
Schaub tallied a game-high 19 points, which was also a collegiate-best for the guard from Cincinnati, Ohio. Gerber tacked on 14 points, while fellow senior Lane Davis tossed in eight points and ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds.
After the Ladies defense yielded nine field goals and 21 first-quarter points to Muskingum, they went the rest of the game allowing the Muskies only nine more field goals on 44 attempts (20.5 percent).