Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville women’s basketball team trailed by as many as 23 points, during the first half, but battled back to take a two point lead with less than five minutes remaining, but the comeback bid fell short  fell short, as the Crusaders fell to Pfeiffer 86-79 in Saturday afternoon Conference Carolinas action.

NGU fell to 7-15 overall, and 3-11 in league play. The Crusaders shot just 41.8% from the field during the game while the Falcons 47.6%. The two teams stayed close to each other for the first half of the opening 20 minutes, but Pfeiffer began to pull away. A 17-2 run that started with eight minutes on the clock would earn the Falcons a 44-21 lead with 2:31 left in the first period.

Pfeiffer held on to the 20 point lead until North Greenville ended the half on a spurt of its own. North Greenville closed the gap to just 16 before the first half buzzer with seven unanswered points. Aliyah Stokes followed up a Timisty Nelson layup with a three to cut the lead to 19. Tierra Richberg followed that up with her only three points of the game, after a made layup and a free throw, cutting the Falcon lead to 48-32 at intermission.

Pfeiffer would continue to hold a considerable advantage in the second period, keeping North Greenville at arms-length for much of the time. However the Crusaders continued to fight, and would finally make their move with 10:27 left on the clock. NGU, which had failed to cut the lead to under 15 since the first half, received a boost from Krisceda Cotton who’s three pointer cut the Falcon lead to 12 points. NGU would cut the lead down to single digits several times in the final 10 minutes of play, but cut it to three possessions for the final time with 7:17 left.

A 13-4 run that ended with 3:08 left on the clock gave the Crusaders their first lead since the 14:37 mark of the first half. NGU would grab the lead with a couple free throws from Aliyah Stokes. Stokes finished the game with 11 points, and five steals to lead all defenders. The Falcons would quickly respond, tying the score at 74-74 with their next possession, and take a 77-74 lead on their following offensive set. But the Crusaders were also prepared to answer, once again off the hands of Stokes, who’s three pointer from the elbow evened the tally at 77-77 after a deep three pointer from the elbow.

Pfeiffer would take advantage of key NGU turnovers down the stretch however, finishing NGU off with an 8-2 run to take the 86-79 win. The Falcons took advantage of 27 North Greenville turnovers, which resulted in 28 points for the Falcons. Both teams put up 40 points in the pain, while the Crusaders put up 25 second chance points over Pfeiffer’s 23.

The Crusaders were led by Timisty Nelson who put up 19 points while collecting eight rebounds. Alisha Hope finished the game with a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Aliyah Stokes and Jaquazha Barrino both finished with double digit nights as well with 11 points and 10 points respectively. North Greenville will return to action on Monday when the Crusaders welcome Lees-McRae. Tipoff for the Crusaders and Bobcats is scheduled for 5:30pm.