WHEELING - Helped out by Linsly's frigid night shooting the basketball, once-beaten Steubenville captured its fifth victory Thursday night at the Stifel Field House.
The Cadets, trailing by only 13-12 at the end of the first quarter, went stone cold during the middle two stanzas, hitting on 4 of 31 shots. That allowed Big Red to lead 22-15 at halftime and 30-19 after three quarters before settling for a 45-36 triumph.
Overall, Coach Erica Hall's team was 15 of 51 from the floor and the margin of defeat could have been much higher except for a solid effort by the Linsly defense and 12 points scored in the fourth quarter by the Cadets' silky-smooth freshman Domonique Patterson.
Patterson also struggled finding the range before catching fire and swishing four straight shots, mostly from the 12-to-15-foot range, to start the fourth quarter. She finished with a game-high 21 points.
''You can't win a basketball game if you can't put the ball in the basket," said Hall, as the Cadets fell to 2-3 on the season. ''We had open shots but we just could not buy a bucket until Domonique came through in the fourth quarter to get us close.''
Steubenville received a typical night from its backcourt quarterback Emiley Masloski. The sophomore sparkplug tossed in 17 points and helped keep the Big Red offense together against the defensive heat applied by the Cadets.
''Emiley runs the show very well for us and she makes everybody on the court better," Steubenville coach Phil Casinelli pointed out.
''This was a different matchup for us with all the pressure Linsly brings. They put a lot of athletic girls on the court and that allowed them to keep the tempo where they wanted it. We started getting some transitional buckets off the press and we were able to get in a comfort zone."
With Patterson scoring six points in the first quarter, the Cadets started quickly and led 10-5 before Casinelli called a timeout with 4:09 left to settle down his team. Brittany Bodo's stickback goal, Masloski's runner and Veronica Drellana's transition hoop sent Steubenville back in front to stay at 11-10.
Bodo, taking a dish from Mytia Barker on another fastbreak opportunity, extended the lead to 13-10 before J.J. Jackson's basket off a nice spin move from the post halted an 8-0 Big Red run.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the second and third quarters but Steubenville managed to stay in front as Barker had eight of her 12 points during this span.
Masloski opened the fourth quarter drawing a foul on a drive to the tin and hit both free throws to give Big Red their biggest lead at 42-39, which they matched on three occasions down the stretch.
Supporting Masloski and Barker in the Big Red attack was Bodo with nine points.
Jackson finished with eight for Linsly.
Casinelli, more than pleased with Steubenville's record at this early juncture, likes the chemistry of his team.
''They listen and want to learn," he said. ''We have a good thing going but it is a long season and we have a lot of hard games left. Right now the girls are playing with a lot of confidence but we know we have to keep working hard to get better."
Linsly was outrebounded by a 41-35 margin but had a difficult time getting second shots on the offensive end.
''When you just get one opportunity a possession, you have to make it and we didn't do that," Hall said.
However, she remains confident that the Cadets will finish on the plus side of the won-lost ledger this season.
''We have a lot of potential here. While we didn't shoot it well, we have some good shooters on our team," Hall concluded.