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A new era in Lady Tiger basketball was anointed Friday night as first-year head coach Ginger Colvin notched her first collegiate coaching victory, 94-73 over Bethel College.
Colvin replaced the legendary Hall of Fame coach Donna Wise, who retired after 32 years at the Lady Tiger helm.
"Different people were doing well at different things," said Colvin, who also celebrated her 39th birthday on the same night. "What we lacked in some areas we picked up in others."
The Lady Tigers set the pace of play, especially in the second half when they built leads of 66-55 midway through the second half and 74-59 with 6:50 remaining.
Campbellsville had to rally from a 24-16 deficit 12 minutes into the game. The Lady Tigers went on a 14-5 run over the next four minutes to lead 31-30. Jenna Hedges hit a trey to close the gap to 30-29 and scored the last four points of the half (the final a buzzer-beater) to lift the Lady Tigers to a 42-36 lead at intermission.
"We didn't shoot well in the first half," Colvin said. "But we got better in the second."
Indeed, the Lady Tigers improved their accuracy by 20 percentage points after shooting 38 percent during the first 20 minutes of action.
Courtney Danis canned two consecutive three-pointers after Bethel had knotted the score at 44-all to propel the second half run. Danis, a freshman from Mt. Sterling, led all scorers with 21 points. Campbellsville got 46 percent of its offense from first-time Lady Tigers. Danis, Sara Sexton (13), Melly Heaton (5), Alexia Williams (3) and Wendi Messer (2) had 44 of the 94 total points.
Kristi Ensminger helped the Lady Tigers control the glass with 13 rebounds out of a total of 41, nine more than Bethel.
Also joining Danis in double figures were Hedges and Juliana Brown with 12 apiece and Priscila Alves with 11.
Sexton added a six-rebound night to her line and Maranda Wilkinson had seven boards to go with four points. Ensminger was credited with four assists.
"I can't say we did a really good defensive job, but we gave really good effort," Colvin said. "Bethel plays in the TransSouth (Conference) where the last four national champions play. They're used to really tough competition."
The Lady Tigers return to action on Friday at 6 when they host Hannibal-LaGrange.