TIGERVILLE, S.C.—The North Greenville women’s basketball team held a late lead Wednesday night, but a resilient Mars Hill team scored four points late to give them a 75-73 win over North Greenville in Hayes Gymnasium.
The Crusaders led 73-71 with 1:25 to play, but the Lions scored the game's final four points to earn their first victory of the season.
The Crusaders had their chances to put the game away, but a two blocked shots were converted into points by the Lions giving them a 75-73 lead with :05 left in the game. The Crusaders had one final possession but were unable to get a shot off, dropping the team to 0-2 to start the season.
Timisty Nelson led the Crusaders with 16 points on the night. Ciara Anderson chipped in with 15 points, while Tyler Powers added 12. North Greenville connected on 31-of-81 from the field (38.1 percent).
The score remained tight throughout the entire contest, which featured 14 ties and six lead changes. North Greenville led by as many as six after a Vanhook jumper made the score 34-28 with 1:21 remaining in the first half, but the Lions closed with a 5-1 run to set the stage for the close second half. An Espinosa free throw, a fast-break layup by Ricker and a short jumper by Booker helped the Lions close the deficit to 35-33 at the half.
Mars Hill took its first lead of the second half with 17:54 when Booker found Ricker for a fast-break layup to make the score 39-37. That was the beginning of a 9-4 spurt that helped the Lions take a 46-41 advantage. Cadence Wilmoth capped the run with two of her six points on the evening.
A 7-0 NGU run capped by a Tierra Richburg bucket gave the Crusaders a 48-46 lead. From that point, neither team led by more than two until the Lions pushed the advantage to 71-66 on an Espinosa jumper with 2:57 to play. Another 7-0 Crusader run gave NGU a 73-71 lead before the deciding stretch gave the Lions the victory.