Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tigerville, S.C.—Five Crusaders scored in double-figures, including Ashleigh Edwards who led NGU with 19, while turning 21 Barton turnovers into 25 points, as the North Greenville women’s basketball team earned an 81-71 decision over the Bulldogs, to improve to 7-13 on the season and 5-11 in Conference Carolinas play.

Other players in double figures for NGU were Timisty Nelson who had 17 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Alisha Hope and Jaquazha Barrino both had 14 points while Tyler Powers had 12.

North Greenville got the scoring started early in the game when Timisty Nelson drove the lane and gave the Crusaders a two-point lead, eight seconds into the game. Nelson’s free throw would give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead, but two consecutive makes by the Cobras would give them a 4-3 lead, it would be their only one of the game. The Crusaders would later open up a 33-20 lead with 5:04 left in the opening period but the Cobras closed the half on a 14-7 run, to close the gap to just six at intermission.

The Cobras kept the game close, cutting NGU’s lead to just one, with 16:58 left in the half, continuing their hot shooting from the end of the first half. Coker stayed to within 10 points of the Crusaders for the next six minutes and some change. North Greenville would once again go up by double-digits, but the pesky Coker team once again battled back to within two, as the Crusaders clung to a 64-62 lead.

The Crusaders would then score four in a row, on two Tyler Powers’ free throws, and a Jaquazha Barrino layup gave the Crusaders an uncomfortable six-point lead. A minute later, Ashleigh Edwards’ fourth three-pointer of the game put the Crusaders up 72-63 with 3:01 left in the contest. The Edwards’ three was the proverbial nail in the coffin, as the Cobras would not pull closer than eight points during the final two minutes of the game. North Greenville finished the game at the free throw line hitting 5-8 down the stretch, to secure NGU’s win.

“We’re still concentrating on the little things,” remarked Jayne Arledge after her teams win. “We did a better job boxing out and getting rebounds, and we have got to keep doing that. We’ve got to keep running good offenses and taking good shots, and let our defense set the tone.”

Coker also had a strong day on offense individually with four players in double digits. Autumn Lau led all scorers with 24 points, while her sister Amber Lau registered 12. Jasmine Evans scored 11 for the Cobras and Haley Yohn scored 10. Collectively, both teams struggled on offense, both shooting at the 40% mark. Coker held the advantage at the free throw line shooting 72% for the game, while the Crusaders 35% from beyond the point arch.

The Crusaders remain in playoff contention after the win over Coker College, with six games left in the regular season, including one against Lees-McRae and King, who hold a game lead over the Crusaders heading into Saturday. North Greenville will take on Erskine College on February 13th in Hayes Gymnasium. Tipoff for the Crusaders and Flying Fleet is set for 5:30pm in Tigerville.