Lynchburg Downs Women's Hoops

WINCHESTER, Va. – Defending champion Lynchburg College opened up the ODAC women's basketball season on a winning note with a 62-49 victory over Shenandoah Tuesday evening.

Lynchburg (3-2, 1-0 ODAC) scored 14 of the game's initial 16 points to take a lead it would not relinquish over Shenandoah (3-2, 0-1).

SU clawed its way back in it by responding with a 7-0 run of its own and trailed by seven, 17-10, at the end of one.

A 9-2 Shenandoah run, from the 8:23 to 5:05 marks of the second, brought the hosts to within two, 21-19, following an Ashley Oakes 3-pointer.

Coach Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft's club had three possessions in which it could have brought the game back to level, but turned it over twice and missed a layup on the third.

Lynchburg reasserted control by scoring the game's next eight points in a span of 6:01 and never saw its lead below eight points the rest of the way.

Senior Erin French brought the hosts to within eight, 33-25, at the 5:15 mark of the third only to see LC score 16 of the final 24 points of the stanza to take a 49-33 lead heading into the fourth.

The lead ballooned to 20 before Shenandoah finished the game on a 14-7 run. SU had three 3-pointers in this final stretch with Olivia Callan getting the spurt started with hers at 7:46 and Oakes finishing it by draining one just before the final buzzer.

"I am glad we had the chance to open up the conference season with the defending champions," Smeltzer-Kraft said. "It was a hard fought game. I thought we came out a little flat at the start of the second half and that made the difference in the contest."

French led the hosts with 13 points while Caroline Naumann had 20 points and 12 boards for the victors.

Lynchburg had a 42-27 advantage on the glass which led to a 34-20 bulge in points in the paint.

LC also had all 10 of the game's fast break points.

The SU women take to the road this weekend for a 2 p.m. ODAC contest Saturday at Emory and Henry.

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