Uniontown, PA- The wait to return to the court ended for the women's basketball team as they competed in their first round game of the 2016 USCAA Basketball National Championship as the number three seed. Today's contest came against the #6 seed Rochester College Warriors as Berea looked to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.
The first two points on the board went in favor of the Mountaineers, as Anna Loveless's drive to the basket gave Berea an early 2-0 lead. Rochester scored the next five points as part of a 14-4 run to make the score 14-6 with 2:26 left in the first quarter. Bethanie Williams ignited a 10-2 scoring run for the Mountaineers with her three point basket and her three point play near the end of the quarter sent the teams into the quarter break with score tied at 16.
The offensive run continued in the second quarter as Berea regained the lead off of Kelsey Tippitt's lay up. The Mountaineers lead moved to four when Kiley Barnard hit a three point jump shot at the 4:57 mark to make the score 22-18. The advantage for Berea was cut to three with 2:04 left in the half, but over the next thirty seconds, the team went on a 7-2 run to take an eight point lead, 31-23. The cushion did not last long for the Mountaineers as the Warriors scored seven straight points to cut the lead to just one. Jaime Roberts assured Berea went to the locker room with a three point lead though as her jump shot gave the Mountaineers a 33-30 advantage at the halftime buzzer.
Berea scored the first basket of the second half to give the team a five point lead. Rochester came back to tie the game with 4:45 on the clock in the third quarter at 37 before a three point jump shot gave them a 40-37 lead. The Warriors looked like they they were heading to the fourth quarter with a six point lead, but Roberts' three point basket with 24 seconds left made the score at the end of the quarter 45-42.
Adriana Williams had back-to-back lay ups which kept the deficit within one point before Loveless' jump shot gave the Mountaineers the lead back, 48-47. The lead went back in the favor of Rochester before Roberts' three point shot pushed Berea ahead of the Warriors, 51-49 with 5:36 left remaining until the final buzzer. Rochester scored the next 10 points over the next four minutes to take a 59-51 advantage with 55 seconds left. Berea would not be able to overcome the deficit and fell in the first round 61-57.
Pacing the way for Berea on the offensive end was Adriana Williams with 15 points. Bethanie Williams was the second leading scorer for Berea, finishing with 14 points, while Roberts also finished in double digits with 11. Loveless led the way on the glass with nine rebounds.
The loss moves the team's record to 14-12 and into the consolation bracket, where they will face #7 Carlow University. The game is scheduled for tomorrow, March 3rd at 8:00 AM. Live stats and video can be seen here.