Trojans Drop Narrow Decision to Lenoir-RhyneJanuary 5, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – Lenoir-Rhyne junior Danielle Bongiorno connected on two free throws with just 6.7 seconds on the clock, as the visiting Bears escaped with a narrow, 63-62, win past Anderson in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson slipped to 7-5 overall and 1-1 in league play with its second consecutive setback, while Lenoir-Rhyne (7-3, 2-0 SAC) earned its first road win in four attempts this season with its second straight victory.
The Trojans showed little ill effect of a 16-day layoff early in the contest, as the Anderson defense forced five early turnovers that helped propel AU to its largest lead of the game, at 14-2, less than five minutes into the game.
Trojan senior Amanda Parris opened the scoring with a 3-pointer just 32 seconds into the contest, while fellow guard Sierra Simpson added five points in the opening moments. Senior forward Tilde Ahlin capped the breakout with a short jumper to give the Trojans a 14-2 lead with 15:30 left in the opening half.
But the Bears capitalized on AU’s shooting woes over the next nine minutes, responding with a 17-4 run to take their first lead of the game, 19-18, as sophomore Jazmine Charles made one-of-two from the line with 5:59 on the clock.
In a game that featured 15 ties and more than a dozen total lead changes, the final six minutes of the first half saw three ties and six lead changes, with neither team able to build more than a two-point cushion and Lenoir-Rhyne holding a 29-28 advantage at the break.
Ahlin and senior Alissa Diaz, who was hampered by early foul trouble, combined to score the first four points of the second half, as Anderson claimed a 32-29 edge, equaling its largest lead of the second half with 16:23 remaining. Lenoir-Rhyne misfired on its first seven shots of the second half, but evened the score at 32 apiece on freshman guard Jordan Hiatt’s trey at the 14:52 mark.
The Bears snapped a 39-39 tie with seven unanswered points to take their largest lead of the contest midway through the half, but the Trojans inched back and took a 52-49 advantage on a 3-pointer from sophomore Lesley Woods and took a 54-52 lead on a jumper by Diaz with five minutes remaining after Lenoir-Rhyne tied the score on three consecutive free throws.
L-R’s Ashia Mitchell knotted the score with a pair of free throws and junior Whitney Brinkley gave the Bears a brief 56-54 lead with 4:07 left.
Trailing, 60-58, with less than a minute remaining, Diaz banked in a short jumper from the right side to even the score for the 14th time of the afternoon and after the two teams traded turnovers, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Caroline Laughter made one-of-two free throws with 21.2 seconds on the clock to give the Bears a brief one-point lead. Following a 30-second timeout, the Trojans turned the ball over, but Diaz quickly swiped it back and drained another jumper from the right side, regaining a 62-61 edge for AU with 15.8 ticks remaining. But seconds later the senior guard was whistled for her fifth foul of the afternoon, sending Bongiorno to the charity stripe.
Anderson raced upcourt, but freshman guard Madison Floyd was unable to get a clear look at the basket before the final horn sounded.
Diaz led all scorers with 17 points and recorded a team-high six rebounds, while Shannon added 13 points and Woods chipped in eight.
Hiatt finished with a team-high 13 points for Lenoir-Rhyne, while Laughter narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Trojans close out their brief two-game South Atlantic Conference homestand by playing host to Newberry on Wednesday, then embark on a two-game road swing beginning next Saturday at Lincoln Memorial