Recap: Spano Shines; But Slow Start Dooms Women In Opener

Recap: Spano Shines; But Slow Start Dooms Women In Opener

MAYS LANDING, NJ - First-year player Jessica Spano scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Mustangs, but it wasn't nearly enough as the women's basketball team dropped its season opener 69-53 to Atlantic Cape Community College in Region 19 action on Tuesday night.

Montgomery jumped out to an 8-2 lead five minutes into the opening quarter. But the Bucs fought back as Phoebe Carano hit a three-pointer at the first quarter buzzer to give the home team a 15-11 lead. The Mustangs then managed just 9 second-quarter points and trailed 39-20 at the break.

Regardless of the score, Montgomery leaned on its quick, aggressive style and put up a valiant fight over the final two quarters. In fact, the Mustangs outscored the Bucs 33 -30 in the second half. But it was not enough to overcome the slow start.

"We dug ourselves too big of a hole early," said second-year Head Women's Basketball Coach Francine Roseman. "But it's a process. We have a young, small team that is still learning to play together."

Each season brings a new challenge. And this year is no different for Roseman. This year's Mustang women's basketball team is filled with new faces, including some of whom played soccer and volleyball in the fall.

"The challenge is getting all of the new players on the same page," Roseman said. "But we can learn from this."

Spano's effort, which also included 9 rebounds and 3 steals, is among the positives Roseman gleaned from the season opener. Others included Anna Morgan, who added 13 points and 6 rebounds, and Linda Sobeck, who chipped in 12 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

Montgomery shot just 28 percent from the field compared to Atlantic Cape's 42 percent. Morgan and Sobeck combined to go 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, while as a team Montgomery converted only 42 percent of its free throw opportunities. The Mustangs were beaten around the glass as the Bucs held a 37-25 advantage in the rebound department.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but I feel good about the team moving forward," Roseman said.

The Mustangs are back at it Thursday as they host Rowan College at Gloucester County in the home opener. Tip-off is set for 6 pm.

- By Bob Kent, Sports Information Director