Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville women’s basketball inched closer to a spot in the Conference Carolinas post season tournament on Saturday afternoon after a 63-59 upset win over the Mount Olive Trojans. The Trojans, now 8-6 in league play, were ranked 4th in conference.

Tyler Powers paced the Crusaders scoring a career high 20 points to lead all scorers. Powers was 5-12 from beyond the three-point arch, and 5-6 from the free throw line. She was also responsible for all three of NGU’s steals on defense while leading the Crusaders with five total rebounds. Timisty Nelson also helped North Greenville’s cause with 12 points, while Jaquazha Barrino scored 10.

The Crusaders held an early four point lead, but the Trojans put together a 16-0 run to take a 12 point, to take a 19-7 lead. North Greenville answered the challenge with a run of its, cutting the lead to just four (25-29) at intermission. Rashmi Vanhook spurred the run, scoring six points in just two minutes.

“We’re coming together,” remarked Arledge. “We’re putting our blocks together, and putting a bigger stronger building together. We just have to keep working on the little things, to get better each game.”

Tyler Powers started heating up in the second half. Following a missed three pointer, Powers collected a steal, and off of a missed layup, put up her first three pointer of the game to cut the Trojan lead to one. Mount Olive quickly regained a six-point lead, but a Powers three-pointer with 14:14 left in the game tied the game at 36. It was only the second tie of the day. A minute later, the Crusaders grabbed their second lead of the day on a Tierra Richberg jumper.

North Greenville would lead by as many as seven, but the final seven minutes would be closely contested. With the score tied at 45 with 7:31 left, the two squads would trade the lead eight times, neither team leading by more than a point. North Greenville broke the one point spell, with 3:39 left in the game, when Tyler Powers splashed her fifth three pointer of the game, to give the Crusaders a two point, 54-52 lead. Timisty Nelson then capitalized on a missed Mount Olive opportunity with a layup to give the Crusaders a 58-54 lead.

Powers would continue to be instrumental down the stretch for NGU. “I was 0-3 on my first threes, but I focused on my defense. I think that helps my offense,” remarked Powers. “After that, we just came together as a team.” Powers would go on to hit three tree throws in the final seconds of the game, and collect a key steal with 14 seconds left to help NGU secure its sixth win of the season, and fourth conference win. NGU is now 6-11 overall, and 4-9 in league play.

The Trojans also had three players in double-digits including Joneiqua Gary, who led the team with 16 points. Tamera Nesmith and Alyssa Luebs both accounted for 10 points. Leubs was the games leading rebounder with 10 boards.

The second half for NGU proved to be the difference maker, as the Crusaders shot 52% from the field. The Trojans shot just 34.4% for the game, while the Crusaders were nine points better, shooting at a 43.3% clip for the game. The Crusaders also dominated the bench performance, outscoring the Trojans 26-9.

The Crusaders will hit the road again on Monday night, when they travel to Gaffney, South Carolina, for a 5:30 tipoff with conference leading Limestone College.