Lexington, KY- #4 Berea College returned to the floor this evening to play in the championship game of the Pat Deacon Classic. Tonight's match up came against the host Transylvania University Pioneers.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the first quarter as the teams shot under 30 percent from the field. Back-to-back three-point baskets from Jaime Roberts and Kristen Barnes tied the game 6-6 with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter. Transy broke the tie with a three-point shot before four straight points from the combination of Zacchea Small and Barnes gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game, 10-9. A basket by the Pioneers with 36 seconds left in the quarter gave them an 11-10 lead as the teams headed to the second quarter.
A pair of free throws from Pat Deacon Classic All-Tournament team selection Bethanie Williams brought Berea within one point of the lead and Kiley Barnard's layup pushed the Mountaineers ahead by one, 14-13. A three-point basket from the Pioneers put them ahead on the scoreboard until Bri Lanham's jump shot tied the score 16-16 with 6:54 left in the half. Berea fell behind by four points until Barnes' three-point jumper pulled the team within a point of the lead, 20-19. A 10-4 run by Transy gave them a seven point advantage, 30-23, as the buzzer for halftime sounded.
Nakeisha Greene's jump shot ended a 7-0 run the Pioneers opened the second half with, pushing the deficit to double digits, 37-25. Dalilah Price's layup followed by a pair of free throws from Lanham kept the Mountaineers within 13 points, 43-30. Berea cut the Pioneers' advantage to single digits when back-to-back jump shots behind the three-point line by Williams made the score 47-38. The team was unable to pull any closer as Transy pulled back ahead by double figures and stayed ahead for the remainder of the game, walking off the court with a 68-55 victory.
Williams paced the Mountaineers in scoring with 13 points. Small was the game leader in rebounds with nine while Barnes dished out six assists. Greene finished with two steals.
Berea returns to the Seabury Center with a 6-5 record on Thursday, January 5th when they host USCAA opponent the University of Cincinnati-Clermont. Action is slated for 5:30 PM.