CLINTON, Iowa - The Ashford women's basketball team returned to Kehl Arena on Monday, falling to St. Ambrose, 63-59.
Three Saints recorded double-digits, paced by freshman Quinn Rear's 15 points. Fellow freshman Madison Wagner and junior Courtney Panus had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
But the game was ultimately decided on the glass, as the Queen Bees grabbed 47 rebounds, including 23 offensive, to Ashford's 32.
"They were battling for every rebound and they wanted them more than we did," Saints Head Coach Amy Eagan said. "We let them get around us to get to some loose balls and that gave them the extra chances they needed."
With the score tied at six at the 15:02 mark of the first half, Ashford grabbed lead, courtesy of a three-pointer from Rear. It was a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the half, carrying a 28-25 advantage into the intermission.
The Saints would build on their halftime lead, going on a 9-2 run to jump to a 37-28 lead with 16:40 to go after a jumper from Panus.
But the Queen Bees battled back behind a 12-3 run to tie the game at 40 with 11:36 to play after a jumper by Samantha Saladino.
The teams exchanged leads and sat all nodded up at 58 with :51 left to play. But the Queen Bees connected on five of six free throws down the stretch to come away with the victory.
"That's a very good team over there," Eagan added. "I thought we came out ready for this game. We got Trix (Patricia Ramos) back in the lineup and she helped us offensively. It's disappointing to lose, but there were some positives to take from this game."
The Saints held one of the MCC's best shooting teams to only 30.6% (19-for-62) from the floor, including 11.1% (2-for-18) from three-point land. Ashford finished the game shooting 36.4% (20-for-55) from the field.
With the loss, Ashford falls to 7-14 on the season, 3-7 in MCC play. St. Ambrose improves to 9-10 overall, 5-5 in MCC play.
The Saints will continue their three-game homestand on Thursday, when they welcome the Eagles of AIB to Kehl Arena. Ashford defeated AIB, 64-50 back on Dec. 10 in Des Moines.
The two squads will lock-up at 5:30 pm.