CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team dropped the first game of the Eastern Kentucky Comfort Suites Classic on Friday night, falling to host school Eastern Kentucky by a 61-43 margin.

Eastern Kentucky (4-3) shot 48.4 percent from the floor in the second half to push past PC (4-4, 1-0 Big South).

The Blue Hose face Marshall in the second game of the tournament on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Karlee Taylor (Asheville, N.C.) led the Blue Hose with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. Chelsea Parker (Asheville, N.C.) scored six points and added four rebounds as well.

Mariah Pietrowski (Elizabethton, Tenn.) grabbed three offensive rebounds to give her 502 total boards for her career. Already the Division I career leader in rebounds, she becomes the first player in the Division I era to tally 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. She now stands 65 boards shy of tying for ninth place in program history.

EKU’s Jade Barber led all players with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

PC could not overcome a cold night from the floor that saw the visitors shoot 28.9 percent (13-for-45).

The Blue Hose waited out a hot start from Eastern Kentucky and closed the first half on a 9-0 run to trail by only three at the break, 24-21.

The Lady Colonels came charging out from the opening tip. EKU knocked down four of their first six chances and Shonda Burnside (Gray Court, S.C.) picked up three fouls in the first eight minutes.

PC weathered the storm, however, locking down on defense as the half wound down. The Lady Colonels led by 12 with 4:22 remaining at 24-12, but the Blue Hose had an answer as Taylor, Parker and Cassidy Glenn (Blue Island, Ill.) scored nine straight points to end the period.

PC outrebounded the home side in the first, 18 to 17, to help the Blue Hose narrow the gap. Taylor led the squad with seven points and three rebounds at the half.

The Lady Colonels pulled away in the second half, outscoring PC 37-22. The Blue Hose pulled to within seven on a pair of free throws from Pietrowski with 10:16 remaining, but EKU steadily built on its lead down the stretch to take the win.