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Free throws plague Lady Barons in conference losses
|Junior Filita Kirkendoll, a guard from Woodstock, looks to pass the ball to an open Lady Baron Feb. 8 against Berry College. (Photo by Ashley Byrd)
By Taylor Hereford
Director of Marketing
MOUNT VERNON – If the Brewton-Parker women’s basketball team learned nothing else from their two home games this past week it was that free throws can tilt the balance between a win and a loss.
This one lesson turned out to be the hardest to endure, as the Lady Barons (17-8, 9-8 SSAC) missed 10 free throws in a 72-62 loss to Berry College Feb. 8, and 13 free throws in a 66-56 loss to Southern Wesleyan University Feb. 10.
“Free throws were the difference, no question about it,” said head coach Sheila Simmons.
The Lady Barons enjoyed balanced scoring in the Berry game. But in addition to missing free throws, Simmons said the play of her post players was not where it should have been.
“We had a total of five points between our post players (Monica Hunter, Kanyatta Gatling, and Brekken Tadsen),” Simmons said. “We needed more production from them, too, if we were going to be successful against Berry.”
The Lady Barons were led by Candice Clark (18 points). Shelby Pauling and Christina Braswell both had 14 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Post production improved against Southern Wesleyan, with Kanyatta Gatling notching a double double (20 points, 15 rebounds). However, starting guard Shelby Pauling picked up two quick fouls in the opening minutes of the game. As a result, the Barons were without their floor leader for a majority of the first half.
“Losing our starting point guard early on to foul trouble definitely hurt us,” said Simmons.
Despite the losses, Simmons said her team is playing better every night. With three regular season games remaining, and with the team awaiting the return of their leading scorer Monique Martin from injury, Simmons said the Lady Barons are focused on the task at hand – earning a birth in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament.
“We are currently seeded sixth in the conference,” she said. “Eight teams get in to the tournament. The game against Shorter this Thursday night will be huge for us. If we win we are pretty much assured a spot.”
The Shorter game, which is also Senior Night, is this Thursday, Feb. 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Lady Barons finish the regular season on the road against Southern Polytechnic (Feb. 17) and Emmanuel College (Feb. 24). Should BPC earn a birth in the SSAC Tournament, it will be Feb. 28 through Mar. 3 at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.