MCKENZIE — Senior Hollie German scored seven of her game-high 35 points in the final minute and a half to help the Lady Flames edge NAIA-power Bethel, 81-76 on Saturday afternoon.
German sealed the victory as she calmly drained two free-throws with nine seconds remaining in the contest to give Lee an 80-76 lead. German was on fire from the field hitting 12-of-22 and 5-of-10 from behind the arc. She also dished off six assists.
The Lady Flames jumped out to a 48-41 advantage at the halftime break, but the Wildcats would not go quietly on their home floor and battled back in the second period to knot things up at 64 on Jacklyinn Street's two-point basket. From there, both teams jostled back and forth before a Jenna Adams steal helped set up German's foul shots to close things out.
Adams delivered 11 points and nine rebounds but once again battled foul trouble for most of the afternoon. Karley Miller registered 13 points and nine boards before fouling out late in the contest. Madison Lee stepped up with nine points, while Rachel Lockhart added eight points, six helpers and five rebounds before she exited the game with five fouls.
"Rachel [Lockhart] is that person that nobody knows, outside of the program, just how important she is to us." said head coach Marty Rowe. "Karley was great in the second half. She made some big 3's, ran the court and got us some big offensive rebounds.
"I thought KB [Kayla Beavers] came in and did a great job in the minutes she played, and [Alex] Swope handled the pressure really well. Madison [Lee] made some big shots for us as well as she is battling through an injury."
As a team the Lady Flames shot 49 percent from the field (28-of-57) while hitting a sizzling 48 percent from 3-point distance (13-of-27). Bethel shot 37 percent from the field (27-of-72) while converting just 6-of-20 from behind the arc.
Lee held a commanding 41-32 advantage on the glassm, while the Wildcats took better care of the basketball, turning it over just 12 times compared to 22 floor mistakes for the Lady Flames. The two clubs were nearly even from the charity stripe as Lee converted 12-of-16 freebies while Bethel finished 16-of-22 from the foul line.
Tayla Foster led Bethel with 30 points while dishing off four assists and grabbing four rebounds. Percia Glenn would be the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11 markers to go along with six boards.
"They're [Bethel] really good, one of the eight best teams in the NAIA." noted Rowe. "This was a big win for us, but we've got to figure out away to stay out of foul trouble early. We have to realize that were going to go through tough stretches with our schedule this year."
The victory moves the Lady Flames to 4-2 on the year and ends a difficult non-conference schedule that featured four straight road contests. Bethel falls to 8-4 with the loss.
Rowe's club will now turn their attention to the Gulf South Conference as they open play with West Florida Monday at 6 p.m. inside Walker Arena. The Lady Flames will wrap up the pre-Christmas slate when they welcome Valdosta State to town on Thursday.