WILMINGTON – Padua figured to go through some growing pains this season on the basketball court, as the Pandas’ roster features just two returning starters and five players who saw any meaningful varsity time last season. One of those learning experiences came Dec. 28, when the Institute of Notre Dame (Md.) took a 41-15 decision in the Delaware Cup bracket of the Diamond State Classic at the St. E Center.
The Pandas and Penguins both played tight defense, but Padua struggled to put any offense together all day. Bella Julian, one of the two starters back from last season, scored her team’s first points on a bank shot with 1:36 left in the first quarter. Before that happened, Notre Dame had built a 6-0 lead.
Turnovers were a challenge for the Pandas, and the Penguins caused additional problems with their press. An ankle injury that forced freshman Arianna Henry from the floor in the middle of the second quarter did not help Padua, although she would later return before aggravating the injury late in the game. Notre Dame was able to find enough offense in the second to take a 15-6 lead into the locker room at the half.
Padua came out in the third quarter with more energy, and Anastasia Mavridis cleaned up some loose change early on to cut the deficit to 15-8. The Pandas, however, could not close the gap any further, and the visitors from Baltimore went on to the win.
Mavridis led Padua with four points. Ja’Lyn Armstrong was the only player to reach double figures, leading the Penguins with 10.
The Pandas (1-3) meet William Penn in the consolation game of the Delaware Cup on Friday at 1 p.m. at the St. E Center.