Defensive-dominant Lady Barons 2nd at Clayton State

For the third straight year, the Brewton-Parker College women's basketball team finished as the runner-up in Clayton College and State University's Heritage Bank Tip-Off Tournament in Morrow.

After leading Clayton State by 12 points with 10:49 remaining and by two with 1:19 left in Saturday's championship game, the Lady Barons came up short at the end 68-66.

The loss, Brewton-Parker's third straight in the finals to the host Lakers, followed the Lady Barons' 66-46, defensive-dominant victory Friday over Eckerd College (S.C.), which finished third with a Saturday win over Barber-Scotia College (N.C.).

"We probably should have won both games, but we had some bad breaks," Brewton-Parker coach Sheila Simmons said. "The kids played hard and I am just really proud of their effort."

With the Lady Barons (4-2) leading 64-62 with 1:19 remaining in the game, Clayton State junior guard Tamika Hindsman evened the score at 64 on a driving layup, two of her game-high 18 points in the contest.

After a Brewton-Parker miss, junior forward Apryl Brown gave the Lakers the lead with 58 seconds remaining, 66-64, on another driving layup.

After another BPC miss, Clayton State junior guard Myeshia Choice hit one free throw to extend the Laker lead to 67-64 with 40 seconds remaining.

Brewton-Parker senior guard Melody Walker of Statesboro came back with two free throws to cut the deficit to a single point, 67-66, with 10 seconds remaining only to have Brown answer with 1-of-2 free throws with under two seconds remaining to seal the Lakers' victory.

Clayton State had 32 free-throw attempts to Brewton-Parker's 15 but outscored the Lady Barons just 12-9 at the line. The Lady Barons overcame 33.3 percent field-goal shooting by forcing 28 Laker turnovers, 17 resulting in steals -- seven by sophomore guard Ashley Little of Lawrenceville, who was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Walker and sophomore guard-forward Tamika Drinks led four Brewton-Parker double-digits scorers with 14 points apiece, while Little followed with 12 and senior guard-forward Toya Rogers of Vidalia had 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the young season.

In Friday's win, the Lady Barons forced 38 turnovers that they converted into 27 steals, with 25 first-half turnovers Brewton-Parker turned into a 34-23 halftime lead.

Drinks made five steals to go along with 11 points and seven rebounds. Walker led the Brewton-Parker scoring with 16 points and Little had 10, while junior forward Crystal McNeil of Pensacola, Fla., had a team-high 10 rebounds.

"We put all of our pressure in the back-court and took them out of their half-court game," said Simmons, whose team again used its defense to overcome 33 percent shooting.

The Lady Barons then play in the North Georgia College and State University ALLTEL Classic on Friday and Saturday in Dahlonega.

Brewton-Parker plays Cumberland University (Tenn.) at 8 p.m. Friday and Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fla.) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Lady Barons then travel to Denmark, S.C., on Monday, Dec. 1, for a non-copnference game against Voorhees College beginning at 6 p.m.