| Lady Mountaineers Split Finals Week Games
Many students look at the final week of classes as an easy week--one to coast through. The Berea College Lady Mountaineers, however, managed to stay busy with two exciting home games.
Candy Walls snags a rebound in a recent game against Brescia University
On Tuesday evening, the ladies faced off against the Brescia University Bearcats, who are in Division I of the NAIA and are 3-0 this season. While the Bearcats were easily out-sized, they managed to dominate the court, preventing the Mountaineers from making it onto the scoreboard until a free throw shot nearly two and a half minutes into the game. BC managed to rally quickly enough to lead by 2 points with fifteen minutes to go in the half. Their fire was soon extinguished by the Bearcats, as Brescia stole the lead and held off the Mounties by a sizable twelve points. For the remainder of the half, the ladies trailed Brescia by nearly 10 points. Though they managed to break the momentum of the Bearcats with some impressive steals, they still found themselves down by 38-48 at the end of the half.
After half-time, the Mountaineers took the floor and continued with the same game play as in the first half, forcing them to hover around a thirteen-point deficit. LaShondra Gray stepped things up with a three-point shot that brought the ladies back into the ten point range, with a score of 59-69. The second half continued with much of the same action, with Coach Bunky Harkleroad substituting his full court every few minutes in an attempt to rally his team. With less than four minutes to go, the steals became more intense, and the three point attempts more numerous, but the Mountaineers just couldn't pull it all together for a victory. The ladies headed back to their locker room with a disappointing score of 79-91.
Thursday evening, the Lady Mountaineers took on the Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson. It was immediately noticeable that the Mountaineers were back on their feet after Tuesday's loss, and took a quick lead. The ladies kept the defense hard and fast, pounding the floorboards and shutting down the Raiders with an improved offense. At the half, BC left the court up by a score of 56-33.
At the start of the second half, the Blue Raiders kept the Lady Mountaineers scoreless for nearly the first three minutes of play in an effort to make a comeback. Amid scrambles for the ball, bad passes and amazing steals, the Blue Raiders inched closer to BC's lead. With less than five minutes to go, the game went from being a "shut out" to a dangerously close 8-point game. BC's coach Harkleroad called a timeout and lit a fire under his ladies, who continued to keep the Blue Raiders at bay. At the final buzzer, the Lady Mountaineers remained on top with a score of 88 - 80. They are now 10-3 this season.
The ladies have a few away games left before Christmas as they play in the Virgin Islands Tournament in St. Thomas December 16 through 20. Their next home game will take place after winter break, on January 6 against Indiana University Southeast at 7p.m.