CENTRAL, S.C. — After a hard-fought, defensive first half, the Lee University women’s basketball team came alive in the second frame to pull away from the host Southern Wesleyan University Lady Warriors, 66-55, Thursday evening.
The Lady Flames (17-4, 7-1) are back on the winning track, now having won their last two Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) contests, following last Saturday’s loss to Shorter University.
Southern Wesleyan falls to 14-5, 6-2 in SSAC play. The loss drops the Lady Warriors out of the tie for the top spot in the conference, for the time held only by the Lady Flames.
“This is always a tough place to play,” said Lee coach Marty Rowe. “(SWU) Coach (John) Davis has done a great job with this bunch. We always feel good about getting out of here with a win.”
Brooke McKinnon once again led the way for the Lady Flames, scoring a game-high 22 points, 20 of them in the second half. Freshman Hollie German added 11 points, with Angela Spann and Madison Lee each contributing 10 points.
The Lady Flames were led in the paint by Kayla Carlisle’s 10 rebounds, though they lost the battle of the boards, 37-30.
For Southern Wesleyan, Janaye Gillard earned a team-high 17 points, to go with 6 rebounds. Natasha Eddings added 10 points, and Ashley Cooper earned a game-high 12 rebounds.
Neither side excelled shooting from the field, as Lee outshot Southern Wesleyan, 36-percent to 32-percent. The Lee ladies relied heavily on free throws, however, knocking down 19-of-21 shots from the charity stripe, good for 90-percent.
In addition to free throws, it was timely three-point shooting that carried the Lady Flames to the win.
“We really stepped up and made some big plays late,” added Rowe. “Hollie German got hot for us late and hit three big three-pointers there for us to increase that lead.”
The Lady Flames return to Cleveland Saturday evening for a 5 p.m. contest with Emmanuel College. It is Hoops 4 Hope night at Walker Arena, to raise autism awareness and funds for the Lee University Developmental Inclusion Classroom.