Central, S.C.— The North Greenville women’s basketball team defeats Southern Wesleyan 82-80 in a thrilling opening round NCCAA regional tournament game.
Karly Stache lead NGU with 20 points. Other Players scoring in double figures for the Lady Crusaders were Christina Carlis who scored 16 and Whitney Smith who scored 11. Smith also lead the team with 5 rebounds.
In the first 20 minutes of play included four ties and three lead changes. The Lady Crusaders fell behind by five points with 12:43 19-12. NGU took its first lead of the game with 9:47 left in the half (24-22). North Greenville’s biggest lead of the first half was four. The Warriors tied the game at 41 with a layup with seven second left on the clock. The Crusaders inbounded the ball and watched Raven Wamer drive the length of the court for a buzzer beating five footer to put North Greenville up by two at the half (43-41). NGU was led in the first half by Karly Stache who led all scorers with 18 points. Stache was 4 of 7 in the first period from the three point line.
The Crusaders came out in the second half and quickly added to their lead scoring five points in the first 30 seconds of play. Southern Wesleyan was quick to answer the challenge chipping away at the NGU seven point lead. The Warriors pulled to within one with 17:08 left in the game (50-49). North Greenville answered back scoring the next four points making the score 53-49 with 15:57 left in the game.
The next 15 minutes of the game would be a back and forth affair. SWU took the lead at 55-53 with 14:33 left. NGU tied the game at 55 before taking a six point lead with 9:29 left in the game. The lead stayed between four and six points for the next three minutes as the two squads traded layups. SWU brought got to within three points with 4:46 left in the game. The game went scoreless for the next two minutes before North Greenville extended its three point lead to 5.
The Lady Crusaders clinged to a five point as the clock ticked below a minute. With 43 seconds left SWU pulled to within three at 80-77. After an NGU turnover, the Warriors missed their first three point attempt to tie the game but gathered the rebound and passed the ball to the top of the key where Kesha Smith tied the game with a desperation three pointer leaving nine seconds on the clock. Karly Stache inbounded the ball to Christina Carlis who drove the length of the court to lay the ball up and in as she fell to the court putting NGU up two with 2.2 seconds left. Southern Wesleyan inbounded the ball but a half court three point shot fell short giving North Greenville the 82-80 opening round victory.
“It was a great game for us,” said head coach Jayne Arledge, “it was a great team win and we did a lot of things well together. With the win, the Lady Crusaders advance to the championship game of the NCCAA regional tournament where they will take on the Emmanuel College Lions. The Crusaders are 0-1 on the year versus the Lions losing on the same court they will play on tomorrow. Tipoff for the championship game is set for 7pm.