SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Mars Hill women's basketball team were downed on the road against Chowan, 72-46 Friday afternoon opening up Courtyard Classic play. Shaigna Wentz led the Lions with nine points.
The Hawks came out of the gates strong, opening the contest on an 11-3 run. Dhyamond Crenshaw had the first four points of the game. Mars Hill would take five of the next eight points, all from free throws. Wentz and Shaigna Johnson each had two points during that stretch.
Mars Hill would pull within four points two separate times in the opening 35 seconds of the second quarter, but Chowan answered back immediately to extend their lead. Leading 29-20 with five minutes remaining in the half, the Hawks would end the quarter on an 8-2 run. Chantel Roberts would dictate play and take over offensively for the Hawks, scoring 10 points in the quarter. Alexus Grubbs had five points in the second quarter to lead the Lions offensively.
The Lions trailed 37-22 entering the second half.
Gabby Gianikos scored the first five Lions' points to open up the third quarter on a 5-2 run before Mariah Coker answered back with five straight points. The two players were offensive forces for their teams in the third quarter. Gianikos scored eight of the Lions' 12 third quarter points. Coker had nine of the Hawks' 16 points and finished the contest with 11 points.
Mars Hill trailed by 19 points entering the final quarter and were unable to shorten the gap. Chowan outscored the Lions 19-12 in the final 10 minutes of play. Crenshaw added 10 points to her total and finished the game leading all players with 23 points.
Joanne Williams led all players with 15 rebounds, a main factor in the Hawks' 64-43 rebounding advantage.
Wentz added three rebounds to her team-high nine points. Sheena Johnson played a game-high 36 minutes and had seven points, three rebounds and two assists. Gianikos tied Chowan's Kaylah Henderson with five assists apiece to lead all players.
The Lions shot 22.4 percent from the field (11-49) while Chowan shot over nine percent better at 31.9 percent (29-91). Mars Hill was 21-26 from the free throw line compared to the Hawk's, making nine of 20 attempts.
The Lions fall to 1-3 on the season. Chowan remains unbeaten at 3-0.
Mars Hill will close out Courtyard Classic play with their second game against Converse within a week's time. The Lions came away with a 66-60 victory over the Valkyries for their first win of the season last Saturday. Tip off is scheduled for 3 p.m.