Beloit, WI -- For Jennifer Randall, the nerves were there all day, and likely yesterday too.
But the Beloit College Women's Basketball team settled the nerves of their first-year head coach in a big way by topping Concordia University 63-55 in Flood Arena on Tuesday night in the season opener for both squads.
Beloit came back from a double-digit deficit in the first half and then stayed strong down the stretch for the win over the Falcons, who they hadn't faced in over 20 years.
The game was tight early until CUW went on an 11-0, four-minute run to turn a 17-16 deficit into a 27-17 four minutes before halftime. But the Buccaneers put together their own 10-0 run over the last four minutes of the half and the teams headed to the lockerroom tied at 27-all.
The Bucs led 36-34 six minutes into the second half and then used a quick 6-0 run over the next 30 second to build their lead to eight at 42-34 with 13:35 remaining.
The Falcons battled back with a 7-0 run and pulled to within one at 42-41 at the 11:54 mark but Beloit seemingly put their stamp on the win over the next six minutes, outscoring Concordia 13-4 to take a 54-45 lead with 5:52 left.
The Bucs hit 5-6 free throws in the final minute to hold on.
Sarah Stariha led three players in double figures with 15 points and also handed out a game-high five assists. Lauren McNanna scored 14 with four steals while Kirstin Acosta had 12 and tied her career high with nine rebounds.
Beloit now hits the road for an extended period, beginning this weekend at the Lakeland College Tipoff Tournament in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Buccaneers play the host Muskies on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. and then take on either UW-Stout or Wartburg College on Saturday afternoon.