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Mountaineers Leap to KIAC Championships

Leap year was kind to the Mountaineers as both the men's and women's teams won close semifinal games to play for a chance to enter the NAIA national tournament.

In an early afternoon game, the #3 Lady Mountaineers earned a spot in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) championship game by defeating the higher-seeded Indiana University Southeast 84-79 on Feb. 29.

This is the second year in a row Berea (19-11) advances from the third seed to the final game. Berea pulled away to a 19-6 lead early in the first half until IU Southeast (19-12) sliced it down to 45-39 at the half. Berea then went up by 11 early in the half. Tough physical play marked the middle of the half as IU Southeast battled to keep it close until the end.

Berea’s Annbruce Madden went four for five from the field in her 19 point game. Freshman Ashley Howard put up 16 points and seven assists. Stephanie Corry’s 15 points came with three steals. The steals were a part of the points off turnovers dominance by the Mountaineers 28 to 11.

The Lady Mountaineers will face #1 Midway on March 1 at 5 p.m. at Asbury College. The game will be broadcast on the radio as well as online by WFXL, the Fox, 106.7 FM.

After the game the KIAC announced the all-conference teams. Freshman guard Ashley Jade Howard and junior forward Candy Walls were named to the all-conference squad. This is the second consecutive year Walls made the team.

On the men's side, senior forward Jordan Samuels and junior forward Charles Wandera were named to the all-conference team.

Later in the evening, the men's team squared off against #3 Alice Lloyd College, a team Berea beat twice in the regular season.

The Mountaineers methodically built a 10-point halftime lead only to see the Eagles of Alice Lloyd pull close late in the game after hitting a three-pointer with just a few ticks remaining on the clock. Berea hit their free throws late to seal the win 70-65.

"At this time of year you know these games are going to be much different than the regular season," says coach John Mills, who was named KIAC men's coach of the year before the game. "We've played well since January and positioned ourselves for this."

Four Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by Cody Hornsby who tossed in 17 points. Jordan Samuels added 15, Mikah Turner scored 14 and Charles Wandera made six of eight shots from the field to add 12 points.

The difference in the game may have been Berea's dominance on the boards as they out-rebounded the Eagles 52-34.

The Mountaineers play #1 Indiana University-Southeast on March 1 at 8 p.m. at Asbury College. The game will be broadcast on the radio as well as online by WFXL, the Fox, 106.7 FM.

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