Winning 56-53 Saturday afternoon at Walker Arena, the host Lady Flames moved to 3-0 on the young hoopa season.
The Lady Crusaders had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds, but Lee's defense was able to come up with one more big stop, forcing an off-balance shot which fell short of the rim as time expired.
"This was a very physical game and we came out a little soft. That being said, we responded in the second half and at the end of the game and came up with some really tough plays in the end to pull it out. We've got to find a way to be more consistent with our toughness as a group," stated assistant coach Jan Spangler.
Hollie German once again led the way for the Lady Flames. The junior scored 25 points to lead all scorers. German was 9-of-19 from the field, converting 4-for-10 from behind the arc.
"Hollie is relentless and is going to find a way to score no matter what they throw at her; however we really need someone else to step up on that end of the court," noted Spangler.
Karley Miller and Mary Jackson provided a punch in the post. Miller had six points and six boards while Jackson added seven points to go along with five rebounds.
Much like the score, the stat sheet was very even on both sides. Lee held a slight rebounding edge of 34-33. Evangel committed 14 turnovers while the Lady Flames gave it up 15 times. Neither team held a double-digit lead throughout the contest. Lee's largest advantage was six points while Evangel held an early nine point lead in the first half.
The Lady Flames shot 37 percent from the field, going 19-for-52. Lee's defense held Evangel to just 33 percent shooting from the field. The Lady Crusaders did most of their damage on the offensive end from behind the arc, shooting 43 percent (6-of-14).
"Being able to grind this one out and find a way to win was a great experience for our team and definitely something we will continue to build on," added Spangler.
Sierra McSpadden led the way for the Springfield, Mo.-based club. She registered a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Emily Akins was the only other Lady Crusader in double figures, with 11 points.
In the early game, Auburn-Montgomery (AUM) defeated UVA-Wise 69-47.
The Lady Flames will be back in action next Friday as they begin conference play on the road traveling to Montgomery, Ala., to tangle with SSAC rival AUM. Tip time is set for 6:30 p.m.
A late second-half surge propelled Lee to victory over Virginia-Wise Friday night in the event’s opening game.
The Cavaliers looked to spoil the party for Lee, pulling within two with 4:12 remaining in the second half. The Lady Flames wouldn't be denied however, scoring timely buckets and making big stops down the stretch to secure a 59-48 victory.
German led all scorers with 22 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. The Benton native also added five boards and five assists.
Julia Zimmerman chipped in nine points and Brooke Hamby tossed in eight points to complete the victory for Lee.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half. Lee shot just 29 percent while Virginia-Wise shot 30 percent. Buckets were easier to come by in the second half, when Lee finished 19-of 54 (35 percent) from the field. The Cavaliers were 18-of-49 from the field, good for 37 percent.
"Give Wise credit, they are well coached and a really tough-minded team. They played extremely hard and dictated tempo most of the game," explained head coach Marty Rowe.
The Cavaliers held a slight advantage in the rebounding category. Virginia-Wise pulled down 38 boards while the Lady Flames secured 34.
Rowe added, "We have to do a better job of rebounding the basketball on both ends of the court. That's a toughness issue that we will address immediately."
Lee protected the basketball, committing just eight turnovers in the game. Wise was guilty of 16 turnovers leading to 11 Lady Flame points. The Lady Flames made the most of 17 foul shots, cashing in on 14 of them. The Cavaliers struggled from the charity stripe, converting just 11-of-21.
Virginia-Wise finished with two players in double figures. Christine Nyobe registered a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Makenzie Cluesman added 14 points in the losing effort.
In game two Friday, Auburn-Montgomery topped Evangel University, 52-47.