STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan women's basketball team fell to visiting Mt. St. Joseph Monday evening despite a strong second-half performance. The Lady Barons fell 68-49 to the Lions at Kuzma Court.
Leading Franciscan for the third-straight game was junior Raegan Stead with 14 points and six rebounds while sophomore forward Cianna Vaughan had nine points and nine rebounds. Junior captain Gaby De Jesus had a stellar day on the court as she finished with a game-high seven assists to go with her six points. Freshman Laura Salzmann finished the day with eight points and four boards while she picked up a block and a steal.
As a team, the Lady Barons shot 41.7% (20-for-48) and were 5-for-7 from the free throw line. Mount St. Joseph held a slight 42-41 advantage in rebounds.
Franciscan opened the game with a strong first quarter. Trailing 10-0 after the first 3:12 of action, the Lady Barons mounted a strong comeback, kicked off by sophomore Rose Judge's layup with 6:28 to play. Franciscan tied the game on a 13-5 run, capped by Rebekah Naverez's jumper thanks to an assist from De Jesus with 2:07 left in the first. Vaughan hit a jumper and De Jesus converted the back end of a trip to the line to give Franciscan it's largest lead of the game, 18-15 with 1:03 left in the quarter. Aliyah Huff hit a jumper to finish out the quarter as the Lady Barons held a slight 18-17 advantage.
The Lions took advantage of a few Franciscan miscues to open the second quarter as MSJ out-scored Francsican 16- 4 before halftime to take the lead, 33-22, at the break.
Vaughan scored the first points of the third quarter but MSJ seemed to have an answer for every Lady Baron basket as the Lions held an ever so slight 18-15 advantage in the third quarter.
After a scoreless 2:21 in the fourth, the Lions finally got on the board with back-to-back threes from Nave' Winn before Vaughan hit a layup with 7:02 to play.
With less than a minute to play, Nevarez cut the lead down to 16 points with back-to-back free throws but Lataya Winn hit a three as time expired in regulation to seal the 68-49 win for the Lions.
Franciscan returns to action on December 29 as the Lady Barons travel to near by Bethany (W.Va.) for a 4pm non-conference match up with the Bison.