Sewanee, TN- The women's basketball team played their second straight game on the road today, entering the contest as the #3 ranked team in the USCAA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches Poll. The team took on the Sewanee Tigers in Sewanee, TN.
Bri Lanham scored eight of the first ten points for Berea to help give them a 10-5 advantage with 6:05 left in the first quarter. A jump shot from Bethanie Williams pushed the Mountaineers ahead 12-8 before the Tigers scored ten straight points to take over the lead 18-12. Lanham's fourth basket of the quarter and a pair of free throws from Nakeisha Greene brought Berea back within two points of the lead, 18-16, as the buzzer for the end of the quarter sounded.
Greene split a pair of free throws in the opening seconds of the second quarter to pull within one point of the lead before Sewanee used a 7-0 scoring rally to take a 25-17 advantage. The Mountaineers used an 8-2 run started by Kiley Barnard's three-point basket and ending with a three-point play from Lanham to come within two points of the lead, 27-25. Berea was unable to pull any closer as the Tigers closed the first half on a 13-4 run to head into haftime ahead 40-29.
Lanham's three-point jump shot sparked a 12-4 run for the Mountaineers, cutting the double digit deficit they faced at halftime to just three, 44-41, with 5:56 remaining in the third quarter. After Sewanee pushed the lead back to nine points, 50-41, Berea used an offensive rebound from Zacchea Small and her putback to ignite a scoring spree where the Mountaineers scored 12 of the next 15 points. In the scoring spree, the Mountaineers hit seven free throws from a combination of Greene, Kristen Barnes, Small and Williams, which cut the deficit to just one, 53-52. A three-point shot for the Tigers with 20 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Tigers a four point lead but Greene's layup as time expired cut the advantage in half, making the socre 56-54 as the teams headed to the final quarter.
Barnes free throws as the fourth quarter began tied the game for the first time since the first quarter 56-56 before a three-point shot and layup from Williams gave the Mountaineers their first lead since the 4:11 mark of the first quarter. Sewanee scored 11 consecutive points to regain the lead, making the score 67-61. Williams' layup pulled Berea within four points, 70-66, but the rally fell short for the Mountaineers as they went on to fall 79-70.
Lanham, leading the team in points per game with 15.7, finished with a team-high 20 points. Williams and Barnes also finished with double figure scoring totals, with 16 and 10 points, respectively. Three players finished with nine rebounds for the Mountaineers (Williams, Lanham and Greene), while Lanham also finished with three assists and three steals, both team-highs.
Berea gets an extended rest period from game competition as they return to the court on Thursday, December 29th at the Transylvania University Tournament in Lexington, KY. The first game of the tournament for the Mountaineers is scheduled for 5:00 PM against Augustana College (Ill.)