Berea College Women's Basketball To Play for USCAA Division I National Championship

Berea College Women's Basketball To Play for USCAA Division I National Championship

After watching the male counterpart's championship dream end, the women's basketball team entered Penn State - Fayette's Main Arena determined to survive and advance in their National Semi-Final match-up with the Pioneers of Alfred State University.

BC would not do itself any favors in the first half as they committed turnovers on five of their first eight possessions to give the Pioneers the early lead.  Berea would chip away at the lead, until Jaime Roberts took a beautiful pass from Zacchea Small and nailed one from long range to tie the score at 13-13 with 13:25 remaining in the half.  BC would gain the lead 19-18 two and half minutes later when Adriana Williams got a steal and converted the layup.  That basket was followed by a 3-pointer from Johnesha Warren to stretch the lead to three.

It wouldn't last long as the Pioneers Briana Meehan got hot from long distance nailing a 3-pointer to tie the game.  Meehan would score a game high 15 points in the first half with most of that damage done from long range.  A Meehan free-throw would make the score 36-31 with a shade over two minutes remaining.  The score would stay right the when the halftime buzzer sounded as neither team scored the remainder the half.

The second half was a challenge for the both teams to get any momentum as the officials called foul after foul, most of those on the Pioneers.  Berea entered the bonus with more than 10:00 remaining in the half.  The biggest foul of the game came late in the game when the USCAA's top scorer Haley Witchella battled Alexus Calhoun for a rebound and she committed her fifth personal with over five minutes remaining.

Calhoun would convert both free throws and Berea was off and running, as Williams' game went into overdrive.  She would score eight of Berea's next 11 points; inside, outside, free-throws - they all seemed automatic.  The rout was on; as the Mountaineers who struggled from the line in the first half, would make them when it mattered most as the clock expired with BC on top 71-56.

Williams was the top dog for the Mountaineers scoring a game high 26 points including going 10-12 from the charity stripe.  Warren added 15 points and pulled down a team co-high nine rebounds, eight of which were defensive.  Roberts excelled in the first half and truly kept the Mountaineers in the game finishing with 11 points.  Calhoun was never a factor offensively, as her assignment was to hold the Pioneers low post scorers in check.  She and Anna Loveless did just that as they each blocked two shots, with Calhoun grabbing nine rebounds, eight of on the defensive side.

Head Coach Trent Milby stated, "I am very proud of what this team has accomplished so far and we have one more game to go.  They hung tough all game as we trailed most it; but made big plays and defensive stops when needed.  What a way to end a great season, playing for a National Championship!"

The ladies will now wait just over 24 hours to play for the school's first ever National Championship when they take the court versus Daemen College (NY) at 3:15 pm on Saturday.  Daemen, the tournaments #5 seed, knocked off the #1 seeded and defending National Champions Concordia College (AL) 63-57 in the first semi-final.