For first-year coach Lindsey Huffman, it wasn’t the way she had envisioned starting the season.
“I didn’t feel like we played to our strengths, and they did a very good job playing to theirs,” said Huffman, the former Etowah High School star. “We just never really adjusted (Tuesday). We played to their tempo.”
After falling behind early, Reinhardt (0-1) struggled to put points on the board as it tried to break through Auburn Montgomery’s defense.
Still, with 8 minutes remaining in the first half, the Lady Eagles only trailed by nine.
But the Warhawks (1-0) began to pull away, outscoring Reinhardt 22-9 over the remainder of the half to take a 45-28 lead into halftime.
A large part of the Warhawks’ success was thanks to Keisha Moore, who hit four 3-pointers in the opening half. Moore finished the night with 22 points, with 18 of those coming from six 3s.
The Lady Eagles came out in the second half with a sense of urgency, with Tara Hay and Taylor Johnson finding the net to keep Auburn Montgomery’s lead from growing.
But much like the first half, the Warhawks began to dominate the latter stages of the second half, with an 11-point run giving them a 65-36 lead that Reinhardt was unable to overcome.
Johnson led Reinhardt with 18 points, going 7-for-11 from the free-throw line, while Hay finished with 14 points and four assists.
They were the only two Lady Eagles’ players to score more than six points.
Much of Reinhardt’s troubles stemmed from the physical presence that Auburn Montgomery presented around the basket, which stopped the Lady Eagles from gaining more than 10 rebounds on the night.
“We lost the rebounding war, big time,” Huffman said. “By the time we did get a rebound, we were coming down the court on offense in rush mode and trying to get something done quickly because we spent so much time on defense.”
Huffman felt that the size of the Warhawks’ post players was a deciding factor in the game.
“They are a great team with some huge size and some good experienced post players,” Huffman said of Auburn Montgomery, which has four players over 6 feet tall — two more than Reinhardt’s roster. “Because of their size, they are so tough to match up against. We had problems matching up right off the bat.”
With three days to prepare for the Lady Eagles’ next opponent, Southern Wesleyan, Huffman’s biggest concern is changing the attitude her players displayed once they began to fall behind.
“We acted a little weak when the odds were stacked against us (Tuesday),” Huffman said. “Going forward, we have to learn how to be fighters.”
Reinhardt will participate in the Point University Classic this weekend in West Point before returning home Tuesday to host Spring Hill College.