Berea, KY- #2 Berea returned to the Roland Wierwille Court this evening a little less than 24 hours since their last competition, an 86-71 victory against Wilberforce University. Tonight they hosted the Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers, a team which they defeated 82-62 earlier in the season, in the Seabury Center.
The game started off as a slugfest as neither team could create much of a cushion, seeing multiple lead changes and ties. Jaime Roberts started the scoring for the Mountaineers with her three-pointer but the Grenadiers came back and tied the game at three each. That started the stretch of ties and lead changes. One change occured on Bri Lanham's three-point basket to give the Mountaineers a 9-7 lead. A 13-2 run by Southeast aided in part by five Berea turnovers gave the visitors a 20-11 lead as the teams moved to the second quarter.
Three consecutive baskets from Zacchea Small brought the Mountaineers back within seven points of the lead, 24-17. The Grenadiers pushed their lead back up to nine before Kristen Barnes's three-point play brought Berea back within six, making the score 26-20. Southeast scored 10 of the next 11 points to go ahead by 15 points though, 36-21. Over the remaining 3:21 of the half, the Mountaineers used a 10-1 scoring rally to make the halftime score 37-31 in favor of the Grenadiers.
Bethanie Williams and Nakeisha Greene scored the first two baskets of the second half to pull within three points of the lead, 38-35, forcing a Southeast timeout. Three points was as close as they pulled though as by the 6:59 mark of the third quarter, the Grenadiers pulled back out to a six point lead, 43-37. With 4:24 remaining in the third, Kiley Barnard's jump shot sparked an 11-3 scoring run which gave Berea a 52-49 lead. Small's jumper as the clock expired pushed the Mountaineers' lead to 54-50 as the teams headed to the final stanza.
Southeast scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to go ahead 57-54 before Williams' three-point jump shot tied the game at 57. The visitors broke the tie before a Barnes layup and a pair of free throws from Roberts gave Berea a lead they would not give up, 61-59, with 5:17 remaining in the game. The game became a one point contest before two free throws followed by a offensive rebound putback by Lanham gave the home team a 69-64 advantage with 2:10 left. The resilient Mountaineers hit the free throws needed down the stretch and walked off Roland Wierwille Court with a 75-71 victory.
Williams led five Mountaineers in double figures with 16 points to go along with nine rebounds. Barnes finished with 14 points while Lanham, Roberts and Small each finished with 13 points. Lanham finished with a double-double as she finished with 10 rebounds. Roberts and Small added eight rebound to their stat lines. Small led the team in assists with three.
The win gives #2 Berea (17-5) their 11th straight win as they go on the road for their next game, traveling to Batavia, OH to face fellow USCAA opponent, the University of Cincinnati-Clermont. The team faced the Cougars at the beginning of January and walked off the Roland Wierwille Court with a 100-69 victory. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM.