| Mountaineers Sweep Alice Lloyd in Double-Header
A record-breaking performance by Rebecca May and agressive team play by the men resulted in lop-sided wins over Alice Lloyd.
The Mountaineers shot 46% from the field in route to a 19 point win.
In the first game of a double-header, sophomore forward Rebecca May hit a school-record nine three-pointers and scored 29 points in a high-scoring win for the Lady Mountaineers (107-72). May also led the team with 3 blocks and 5 steals.
"Rebecca May is a very good basketball player and an even better shooter," says Coach Bunky Harkleroad. "She understands how to play basketball and is just a fantastic shooter. May is capable of scoring like that every single night."
Despite only shooting 33% for the game, the Lady Mountaineers connected on 51 points from the three arc and set a new NAIA record with 114 field goal attempts. A school-record 72 rebounds (31 offensive) gave the Lady Mountaineers 23 second-chance points in route to a 33 point win.
"We have to be a great rebounding team - especially on the offensive glass - and we have to stay one step ahead of our opponents," says Harkleroad. "Teams will start to do their homework and look for ways to slow the game down. We have to constantly prepare and sometimes be creative in ways to keep the pace of the game "hot" so we can get up the necessary amount of shots."
With May pouring in the points, four others led a balanced offensive attack. Forward Ashley Miller scored 17 points while pulling in a team-high 11 rebounds. Outstanding play from the perimeter gave the guards a 50-24 point edge over Alice Lloyd. Rounding out the scoring, Morissa Benberry scored 14 points, Kenita Ball added 12, and Stephanie Corry finished with 11. Guard Crystal David led the team with 6 assists.
The Lady Mountaineers were also effective defensively forcing 32 turnovers.
Following the ladies' win, the men's team took the floor and quickly mounted an aggressive attack to surge to a 22-6 lead and forced the Eagles to choose their poison.
Tomas Klimas led the charge by throwing in 22 points and giving Berea a decided 42-28 edge on points in the paint. Klimas also led the team with 15 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Coach John Mills, who coached at Alice Lloyd before coming to Berea, was impressed with the team's play early in the season. "I was very pleased with the overall performance against ALC. Each player gave a great effort for 40 minutes. I also felt we were always on the attack, I feel this is why we kept breaking their defense down."
When Klimas was unable to score, the Eagles were unable to stop - or even hinder - George Webb, who shot a perfect 6 for 6 in scoring 17 points. "George Webb is providing the type of leadership that this team needs," says Mills. "He also is playing the best basketball of his career."
Balancing out the scoring, Melvin Brown scored 14, guard Robert Rich tossed in 15, including several acrobatic lay-ups over taller defenders, and Cody Nickels finished with 8 points, and 2 blocks - one of which solidified his role as the team's enforcer and helped limit the Eagles to just 28 points in the paint. "He plays with that fire that you have to have on your team," says Mills. "The block he had against Alice Lloyd was one of the most exciting blocks that I have seen."
With a team total of 9 blocks, 9 steals, and 51 rebounds, the defensive effort held the Eagles to just 34% shooting, including limiting Jeremy Daniels - the Eagle's second-leading scorer last year - to just 2 points.
"Defense is what we spend the majority of practice on," says Mills. "I feel that you have to continually work on the basic defensive fundamentals. The other thing we always finish our defensive drills with is rebounding. If you work hard on defense, you need to pay yourself by getting the rebound."
The basketball teams return to action this weekend as they host the Pepsi Invitational Tournament. Games begin on 11/12 at 6 pm.