Cold offense in the second half for the Clinton River Queens blew the game open, and they fell in a Mississippi Athletic Conference basketball matchup to Bettendorf 52-26 at Yourd Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

“I thought we had a good start, a real good start,” Clinton Coach Andy Eberhart said. “We’ve had struggles in the first quarter this year, so it was good to get off to a good start. The second half we kind of just went away from what we were doing early and couldn’t get a shot to go up. That drops our confidence and it snowballs.”

Megan Gandrup — who led the scoring for the River Queens — started the offense with two 3-point baskets in the first two possessions of the game for the River Queens.

Even so, the River Queens were trailing by five by the time the first quarter ended. An offensive run in the second that included a 3 from Macy Mulholland, a jumper from Gandrup and a pair of free throws from Sarah Goldensoph got the Queens within two points of the Bulldogs, but then the offense went cold.

The teams broke for halftime with the Bulldogs leading the River Queens 25-15.

With the game still in reach for the River Queens, the offense continued to dive. The Queens put in only two buckets in the third quarter and were trailing 42-19 after three.

Although Gandrup had nine points for Clinton, all of them came in the first half.

“She didn’t get many looks the second half,” Eberhart said. “We weren’t running our offense to help get it to where she came back and got the ball again. Stuff we have to work on.”

The Bulldogs ended up outscoring the Queens 27-11 in the final 16 minutes. Madi Eberhart and Mckenna Eberhart both hit 3-point shots with under two minutes to play.

“Our energy dropped because we weren’t scoring. We got caught up on the fact that we weren’t scoring instead of getting back and defending and realizing that we have to stop them instead of worrying about what we did,” Eberhart said. “We have to go on to the next play, and we didn’t do a good job of that.”

Mulholland had five points for the River Queens and Molly Chapman added four. Both Madison and Mckenna Eberhart were held to one 3-pointer a piece.

“Getting more people to contribute would be nice. We need to be a little more desiring of the ball. When we have it in our hands it’s ours and we need to score it,” Eberhart said. “We couldn’t get the ball to fall, but we had some opportunities. I don’t think we worked very hard to get each other open. Those are things we’ll work on and things we will get better at.”

The Clinton River Queens will travel to Muscatine this Friday to take on the Muskies in another MAC matchup.

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