Lady Barons win first two GACC games; battle of ranked teams Thursday at BPC

MOUNT VERNON -- A pair of road victories have the Brewton-Parker College women's basketball team off and running in Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference play as they prepared for their first two home conference games in the Student Activities Center.
The Lady Barons began GACC play last Thursday with their first win at Shorter in at least six years, a 50-45 decision that Brewton-Parker coach Tommy Dalley said was a great defensive game although the statistics might indicate otherwise.
The Lady Barons (12-3 overall) then improved to 2-0 in GACC action with a 69-58 win in their first meeting against Southern Polytechnic State University's first-year women's program in Marietta.
The Lady Barons, ranked No. 24 in last week's NAIA Division I poll, then played host to Southern Wesleyan University (1-9 overall, 0-1 GACC) on Monday before their battle of nationally rated teams that is set for Thursday at the Student Activities Center.
The 20th-ranked Auburn University at Montgomery visits Brewton-Parker for a 6 p.m. contest. The Lady Senators (10-6, 2-0) will be playing a ranked team for the second straight time, having knocked off North Georgia College and State University 70-64 at home on Saturday.
"We are definitely looking forward to Thursday," Dalley said while being cautious not to overlook Southern Wesleyan. "They're a big rival and there is a mutual dislike for each other. We have beaten them the last two years here. We will have our work cut out for us. They're a solid team."
In their conference opener, the Lady Barons overcame 31.5 percent field-goal shooting by holding Shorter to 30.4 percent shooting to claim the win. The Lady Barons also had a 41-33 edge in rebounds, with two players reaching double digits on the boards.
"We let a couple of 10-point leads slip away," Dalley said. "We started trying not to lose rather than seal it. Several possessions went by where we both were having to just throw a shot up to beat the 30-second clock."
Senior forward Tameka Oliver worked her way through a case of bronchitis to score 13 points while pulling down 11rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year. Freshman guard Ashley Little ripped three 3-point shots on her way to matching Oliver's 13 points.
Junior guard and former Toombs County product Toya Rogers of Vidalia grabbed a game-best 13 rebounds and added nine points in what Dalley called her best game of the year.
"They're better than their record indicates," Dalley said of the Lady Hawks, who won Saturday to enter this week 5-9 overall (1-1 GACC). "We did a good job of containing their two post players."
Holly Corder led Shorter with 14 points.
Saturday's win came after the Lady Barons fell behind by 10 points in the first half and they rallied to take a 30-26 halftime lead.
"We didn't play well in the first half and played really well in the second half," Dalley said. "We shot the ball well, especially in the second half."
Against Southern Poly, Oliver scored her fifth double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, hitting all nine of her free throws. Oliver had three teammates reach double figures, with Little scoring 14 thanks to four 3-pointers, senior guard Takara Solomon netting 13 after hitting 6 of 7 free throws and Rogers scoring 12 points with three treys along with eight rebounds.
Brewton-Parker led 30-26 at halftime and was 46 percent accurate from the floor and 75 percent successful at the free-throw stripe.
Southern Poly (5-11, 0-2) made just 28.2 percent shooting from the floor but had a 47-34 advantage in rebounds, staying close by pulling in 25 offensive boards. The Runnin' Hornets got game highs of 26 points and 17 rebounds from Theais Edmonds.
After Thursday's game, the Lady Barons then will bee off until they travel north for two conference games next week, visiting Reinhardt College in Waleska on Jan. 23 and North Georgia in Dahlonega on Jan. 25.