Saturday, February 23, 2013
Charlotte, N.C.—The NGU women’s basketball team put itself in the thick of the Conference Carolinas playoff race on Saturday evening with a Crucial 80-71 win over Queens University. 

North Greenville overcame 32 turnovers en route to the nine point victory. The Crusader’s defense was equal to the task, forcing 25 turnovers by the royals, resulting in 31 points. NGU also 
dominated the paint outscoring the Royals 40-30, while collecting 51 rebounds to just 27 for Queens. 

Leading the offensive charge for the Crusaders was Timisty Nelson, who netted 19 points to lead all scorers, to go along with 8 rebounds. Alisha Hope continued her solid season with 18 points, while Tyler Powers added 11. Jaquazha Barrino was the game’s leading rebounder with 11. 

The two teams battled in the firs the half, to the tune of six lead changes, and 8 ties, in the first 20 minutes of game play. The Crusaders held a slim lead for much of the opening period, but the Royals used 16 points from NGU turnovers to keep the game close. Neither team was able to gain an advantage greater than four in the opening half, leading to a 34-34 tie as the teams headed to the locker room for intermission. 

The second half proved to be just as competitive as the first, but after NGU grabbed a two point lead in the opening minutes, there would be no more lead changes or ties. The Crusaders held the lead, for the entire half, but it was not a comfortable advantage. North Greenville held a double digit lead twice in the opening 10 minutes, including an 11 point lead with 13:45 left, but the Royals continued to claw their way back into the game. 

The Royals also had three in double figures, led by Dyonna Battle who scored 14. Shonice Pettaway score 13 for the Royals and Shanel Sweet drained 11. Queens shot 40.4% from the field for the game, including going 2-8 from three. North Greenville was slightly better, shooting 45.8% from the field, despite going 3-10 from three. 

With 10:01 left in the game, the Royals unleashed a 10-4 run, cutting NGU’s once double-digit lead to just 3 (52-49). The Crusaders would go on to shoot 46.9% in the half, while holding the Royals to just 40% shooting en route to the key conference victory. The win over the Royals puts the Crusaders at 8-12 in league play, forcing an 8th place tie with King University, and battle for the 8th and final conference playoff spot. 

North Greenville will wrap up its home schedule on Tuesday night, when the Lees McRae bobcats head to Tigerville, for a crucial Conference Carolinas showdown with the Crusaders. NGU will wrap up the regular season on the road in Bristol, Tennessee against King on March 1st, a game which could decide the final playoff spot.