Lady Barons top Southern Wesleyan, fall short vs. Auburn-Montgomery

By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations

MOUNT VERNON - A match-up of NAIA Division I nationally ranked women's basketball teams took place last Thursday at the Student Activities Center, although thoughts of the game might have affected the Brewton-Parker College Lady Barons in their previous contest.
Coach Tommy Dalley watched his team defeat Southern Wesleyan University (S.C.) 72-55 on Jan. 13 in Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference play at the Student Activities Center, a game the Lady Barons won despite shooting just 35 percent from the floor.
"I think we were looking ahead to Thursday's game," said Dalley, whose No. 23 ranked team found Southern Wesleyan a feisty foe early before the Lady Warriors committed 26 turnovers and likewise shot just 35 percent for the night.
Dalley said his players' minds were likely on their next game, Thursday against No. 17 ranked Auburn University-Montgomery (Ala.). The eagerly anticipated contest resulted in a 57-53 win for the visiting Lady Senators.
In the week's first game, Southern Wesleyan erased an early seven-point deficit to close within one at 21-20 before Brewton-Parker finished the first half with a 37-29 advantage.
The Lady Barons then extended their lead to 56-34 in the first eight minutes of the second half and led by as many as 25 (72-47) with 3:09 remaining before Southern Wesleyan scored the game's last eight points.
Senior forward Tameka Oliver had another solid campaign for the Lady Barons, hitting 10 of 19 shots (2-for-8 from 3-point range) en route to a game-high, 24-point outing. Oliver also had a team-high nine rebounds and was one of four Lady Barons with four assists.
Freshman guard Ashley Little hit five 3-point shots for 15 points and senior guard Takara Solomon was 5-for-8 from the floor for 10 points.
Jahan Dunson led the Lady Warriors (2-12 overall, 1-3 GACC through the weekend) with 22 points from outside and Katrina Hegeman added 20 inside.
"I think anytime you play a team that's 1-9, you tend to look past them," Dalley said. "But a win is a win, and we will take it."
In Thursday's game, the Lady Barons shot 36.4 percent from the floor in each half. Auburn-Montgomery shot slightly better at 37.7 percent but turned its 27-23 halftime lead into a 39-32 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.
"It is comforting to know that we didn't play our best game and only lost by four," said Dalley, whose team (13-4, 3-1) lost at the Student Activities Center for the first time in eight games.
"We are going to battle with a lot of freshmen and they have a lot of transfers, so maybe we can learn from that experience."
Brewton-Parker responded with a 6-0 run and then tied the score at 49-all on Solomon's score with 8:48 remaining.
Despite making just two baskets afterward, the Lady Barons were still in the game until AUM senior forward Jackie Tate hit a 3-point shot with 38.5 seconds left and the shot clock nearing zero.
Tate's basket gave her 15 points, a game-high honor she shared with Brewton-Parker's Little, and the Lady Senators the final scoring margin at 57-53.
Oliver followed Little with 13 points and freshman guard Trivia Richardson added 11, while junior guard Toya Rogers had team highs of eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Tate also had four blocks for AUM (12-6, 4-0 after another win Saturday), while junior guard-forward Amanda Tolbert had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The Lady Barons return to action Thursday at 6 p.m. at Waleska against Reinhardt College, which Dalley said could be a dangerous game despite the Lady Eagles' 4-14 record (1-2 GACC) entering this week.
"It's a tough place to play, we lost up there two years ago, and we can't look past them," said Dalley, whose team will then travel to Dahlonega on Saturday to face No. 11 ranked North Georgia College and State University (15-2, 2-1 to start the week).
"We have to set our sights on one team at a time, and then we will worry about the showdown in Dahlonega."
The Lady Barons' next home game, and their only home contest in the next five, is Monday, Jan. 27, against Emmanuel College (10-7, 2-2 beginning this week) at 6 p.m. in the Student Activities Center.