The start to the John Carroll University women’s basketball season was a tale of two halves.
After the visiting Albion College limited the Blue Streaks to just three points in the first quarter and 20 points for the half, there was room for improvement. JCU responded by erasing an 18-point deficit in the second half and starting the 2015 campaign with a 60-52 victory.
A poor shooting effort early on dug the Blue Streaks in a hole. Heading into half time, JCU trailed 38-20. A different team would enter the court in the second half.
Junior guard Katlyn Spahar led the come back movement with 17 points, seven assists and three steals. Freshman Chelbi Graham added 10 points in her debut for the Blue and Gold.
The Blue Streaks held Albion to just nine points in the third quarter. The defense forced the visitors into nine turnovers, and held Albion to just 36.5 percent from the field.
JCU’s offense flourished in the second half. After doubling the Albion scoring total in the third quarter, John Carroll was within striking distance heading into the fourth quarter trailing 47-38.
Junior Katie Battaglia knotted the game at 47 after a mid-range jump shot, marking the first time since the tip-off Albion did not have the lead. Graham kept the run moving in the home’s direction with a score that gave JCU its first lead of the game. Sophomore Forward Sarah Cairnie secured the victory with her work on the boards. Cairnie finished with nine points and a game leading 14 rebounds, which helped the Blue Streaks to a 44-36 advantage in rebounds.
The second half of the season opener had the Blue Streaks outscoring Albion 40-14, erasing the 18-point deficit JCU had at half time.
With the victory, JCU moves into its sixth consecutive season with a victory in the opener.