Tusculum College of Greeneville, TN, ranked 14th in this week’s USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II national poll, struggled in the first half against North Greenville in Hayes Gym, but junior guard Ashli Oliver responded with a game high 26 points to lead the Pioneers to a 74-57 win over the Crusaders.
NGU limited the 2007 South Atlantic Conference champions to a meager 33.3% shooting effort (14-42) in the first half, but trailed 38-31. Coach Jayne Arledge’s team quickly cut the deficit to 40-36 early in the second half, but the Pioneers pushed the lead to 59-46 with 9:31 left after a three-pointer and a layup by Oliver. NGU battled to stay in the game but could come no closer than nine with 4:31 left.
The Crusaders limited Tusculum’s Jasmine Gunn, last year’s South Atlantic Conference Freshman-of-the-Year and First Team All-SAC selection, to one point and four assists.
NGU had a dismal shooting night, making only 22-56 shots and only two 3’s. They also committed 26 turnovers in dropping their fourth straight.
Amanda Milner led NGU with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Nikki Wood and Christina Carlis added 12 apiece for the Crusaders. The Crusaders will next host the Apprentice School of Newport News, VA Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2:00 p.m. following final exams.