CLINTON – The Ashford University women's basketball team opened the 2013-14 season at home Friday night, facing third-ranked Morningside at the 2013 Ashford University Classic.
Junior guard Quinn Rear led the Saints with 10 points, but the Saints were suffocated by the Mustangs' pressure defense in a 69-47 loss.
"It wasn't the way we were hoping to start the year," Kelly Kruger said after his coaching debut for the Saints. "Give Morningside credit, they're a really good team and they showed it tonight. But we made some mistakes we know we can correct. We have to be ready to go tomorrow, and I think our kids will be."
Sophomore Elizabeth Nardi set career-highs with nine points and a team-leading six rebounds, while junior Madison Wagner chipped in with eight points. Rear led the Saints with a trio of assists, while Jennifer Forge topped the team with four steals.
The Mustangs jumped on top for good in the early going, thanks to a 7-0 run. AU trimmed the lead to six, but the Mustangs forced 14 turnovers in the opening frame to take a 36-21 lead into the break.
Morningside's lead ballooned to as many as 23, thanks to a game-high 18 points from Ashlynn Muhl and another 11 from Leann Osten.
The Saints will look to bounce back on today, when they host No. 12 Briar Cliff at 3 p.m. The Chargers were victorious in their season opener, downing Olivet Nazarene in the night's opening game, 121-107.