Lady Barons pick up two victories

MOUNT VERNON - A pair of victories and a near national ranking summarize last week's highlights for the Brewton-Parker College women's basketball team.

The Lady Barons scored a 64-55 win on Dec. 3 over Voorhees College (S.C.) at the Student Activities Center and followed with an 83-54 triumph at Morris College on Thursday in Sumter, S.C.

In their win over Voorhees, the Lady Barons certainly found a feisty opponent in the Lady Tigers despite their winless record.

Voorhees led Brewton-Parker 8-2 early and 28-27 at halftime and then had a 34-29 lead early in the second half before the Lady Barons rode a defensive switch to gain a lead they would not relinquish in the final 10-plus minutes.

Earlier in the day, Brewton-Parker just missed cracking into the season's first NAIA Division I national rankings. The Lady Barons received 22 points, four behind a tie for 24th place. They had earned three points in the preseason poll.

Brewton-Parker coach Tommy Dalley said the Lady Barons' switch from a press defense to a man-to-man, half-court set helped stop Voorhees (0-9), which shot just 35.5 percent in the second half and 38.3 percent for the game.

BPC overcame hitting just 9 of 23 second-half shots (39.1 percent) by going 17-for-20 at the free-throw stripe in the second half to snare the victory.

"That definitely wasn't a great performance by any means, but we persevered," Dalley said of his team's 42.9 percent shooting for the game. "I think we were shocked at their quickness, of their guards who were really quick. We did a bad job of containing them early.

"We won the game at the free-throw line," where the Lady Barons were 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) for the night.

Dalley also credited senior leadership, with forward Tameka Oliver scoring 19 of her game-high 24 points after halftime.

"She did what she had to do, and that is to come through down the stretch," Dalley said of Oliver, who scored six points - two baskets off assists from sophomore forward K.C. Cheshire inside - to finish a tie-breaking 8-2 run that gave the Lady Barons a 47-41 lead with 7:18 left.

Oliver also hit two 3-pointers, the first of which gave the Lady Barons their largest lead at 54-42 with 4:38 remaining.

Another senior, guard Lucinda Lessington, made 6 of 8 free throws and dished out five assists.

"It looked like she wanted to go to the free-throw line," Dalley said of Lessington. "Late in the second half, she handled their pressure really well."

Junior guard Toya Rogers led Brewton-Parker in rebounds with eight and in blocked shots with three.

Sharon Baston led three Voorhees scorers in double figures with 21 points and had a game-high nine rebounds.

On Thursday, the Lady Barons (8-2) scored their third win over Morris in as many tries.

"We really played well in the second half," Dalley said. "We jumped on them early 28-6 but then relaxed a little bit."

Morris finished the first half with a 15-6 run to close Brewton-Parker's halftime lead to 13 at 34-21.

"Then we came out in the first five minutes of the second half and re-established our command of the game," Dalley said. "We got to play a lot of people."

Oliver fueled the Lady Barons with 25 points with her third straight 20-point game, and senior guard Takara Solomon added 16. Rogers and freshman guard Ashley Little each had nine points, with Rogers scoring all hers on three 3-pointers.

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Brewton-Parker College junior guard and former Vidalia Lady Indian Toya Rogers (No. 13) grabs one of her team-high eight rebounds in the Lady Barons' 64-55 win Dec. 3 over Voorhees College (S.C.) at the Student Activities Center on the BPC campus in Mount Vernon. Rogers also had three blocked shots in the win and then scored nine points, all on 3-point shots, in the Lady Barons' 83-54 win Thursday at Morris College in Sumter, S.C. (Photo by Charles Conkin)