BEREA, OH -- The La Roche women's basketball team dropped a back and forth battle to Loras University 73-66 in the first game of the Baldwin Wallace Holiday Tournament on Thursday afternoon. Loras advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season as champions of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Redhawks will play either Wooster or Baldwin Wallace tomorrow at 2pm.
Loras enjoyed an early first half lead but the Redhawks closed the half on a 10-2 run to enter intermission ahead 45-42.
Both teams were extremely efficient with Loras shooting 63% (15 of 29) and La Roche 55% (18 of 33). The Redhawks committed just three turnovers to eleven for Loras, but the Redhawks were outrebounded 18-8. Mackenzie O'Donnell was terrific in the first half scoring 14 points and hitting 6 of 8 shots.
La Roche extended their lead to five early in the second half but Loras used a 13-1 run to swing the momentum in their direction. A majority of Loras' points came on free throws or second chance points.
TiChina Mitchell brought the Redhawks back with three straight layups and an "and 1" play to tie it. La Roche however never regained the lead despite being within two points with just 1:20 left.
Loras won the battle on the boards (41-22) but La Roche used their speed to force eighteen turnovers. The difference on the scoreboard came at the free throw line where Loras made 25 of 27 to the Redhawks' 10 of 18.