HOPE - The Hope Ladycat hoopers battled against Nashville for their home opener Tuesday night at Jones Field House.

HOPE - The Hope Ladycat hoopers battled against Nashville for their home opener Tuesday night at Jones Field House. The junior varsity Ladycats dominated Nashville, 25-11. In the varsity matchup, Ladycats would fall behind early in the first half, but made a strong 13-4 run late in the fourth quarter against Nashville to build momentum. The Ladycats gave a hard effort, but fell short to Nashville, 40-34.

In the first quarter, the Ladycats and Nashville fought hard to keep the game close. Jaleisa Ballance, Dedra Wade both scored baskets and Rashion Reed had three points for the Ladycats in the quarter. Nashville edged off the Ladycats by two points to lead at the end of the first quarter, 9-7.

In the second quarter, Nashville increased their lead scoring at the 7:08 mark to lead Hope, 11-7. Kandyce Brown posted up big scoring inside at the 6:46 mark to cut the Nashville lead to 11-9. Brianna Beard followed up attempting a three-pointer, but was fouled going 3-3 at the free-throw line, giving the Ladycats a 12-11 lead, with 6:20 remaining in the first half. Nashville came back and scored the next seven points to regain the lead by six points, 18-12. Brown answered back making 1-2 free-throws, but Nashville ended the quarter driving inside to the basket making a floater at the buzzer. At halftime, the Ladycats went into the locker room with a six point deficit to Nashville, 20-13.

In the third quarter, Nashville came out with the advantage  out-scoring the Ladycats, 14-6.  At the close of the quarter, Hope trailed Nashville, 34-20.

In the fourth, Nashville grew their lead to 18 points scoring back to back baskets with the Ladycats down 38-20, at the 6:47 mark. Since Nashville had the advantage leading in double- digits the game looked to be out of reach, but there was no quit in the Ladycats, making a huge 13-4 run and cutting their deficit to four points. Beard started the run scoring at the 6:12 mark, then Makkia Fellows doing some damage inside making a basket. Brittney Cheatham caught on fire nailing a three-pointer that was nothing but neat at the 5:14 mark.

Fellows was fouled making 1-2 free-throws cutting the Nashville lead to 10 points, 38-28. Beard  continued the Ladycats run scoring a basket, then Cheatham picked Nashville’s pocket with a steal and scoring a lay-up with Fellows posting up big inside for another deuce. The Ladycats now only trailed Nashville by four points, 38-34.

With Hope having the momentum, Nashville end their strong run making 2-2 free-throws from a foul at the 2:08 mark. From this point, neither team scored again, and Nashville would hold on to their lead, and pulled out an 40-34 victory over the Ladycats.

In the game, for the Ladycats, Delquashia Sherman led in scoring with eight points making a strong contribution in the third quarter. Brianna Beard had seven points, Fellows five points, Cheatham four points, Brown and Reed each had three points a piece.

The Ladycats will return back to action on Monday, November 30 facing the Taylor Lady Tigers in the University of Southern Arkansas tournament with game time set for 3:30 p.m. Then on Tuesday, December 1 the Ladycats with the Bobcats will be on the road to face Ashdown. The Bobcats and Ladycats will return back home for action on Tuesday, December 8 to conclude the season series against Ashdown at Jones Field House.