The Ripon College women’s basketball team started strong in the first quarter of its season-opener against Carthage Tuesday.

   It scored the first eight points and led the host Lady Red 19-8 after the first 10 minutes of play.

   Then the second and third quarters happened.

   The Red Hawks were out-scored 51-17 in that time, which included 27-4 in the third. They couldn’t recover as they dropped the non-conference contest 78-57.

   “We hit a wall, hard,” Ripon head coach Lauren Busalacchi said. “We didn’t execute our defense well. [We] got caught above the level of the ball and didn’t rotate well against the same action we guarded the first quarter. We turned the ball over too many times as they scored 30 [points] off of those. Carthage shot a lot better the second and third quarters as well.”

   She added the turnovers, of which Ripon had 20, were mostly unforced and a result of her players not creating space and not being balanced and strong with the ball.

Read the full story, which includes information on what the Red Hawks did well in the first quarter, in the Nov. 15 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.