Lady Barons win 3rd straight with big game looming Thursday

MOUNT VERNON -- A combination of solid shooting and turnover-forcing defense led the Brewton-Parker College women's basketball team to an 86-64 victory Saturday night over Georgia Southwestern State University at Americus.

The win was the Lady Barons' third straight and 11th in 12 outings heading into Thursday's key Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference game against GACC co-leader and NAIA Division I No. 8 ranked North Georgia College and State University (14-4 overall, 4-0 GACC). The teams play at the Student Activities Center at 6 p.m.

The Lady Barons (15-3 overall) improved to 2-1 in conference action in overcoming an early 9-2 deficit to hand Southwestern its first GACC loss after the Lady 'Canes (5-10 overall) started conference play 3-0.

"I think 40 minutes of pressure wore them down," said Brewton-Parker coach Sheila Simmons, whose team forced 28 turnovers and collected 14 steals and out-rebounded Southwestern 29-25. "They had a limited amount of subs and we had really balanced scoring."

The Lady Barons shot just better than 50 percent (32-for-63) for the night, including 47 percent from the 3-point line and 73 percent at the charity stripe.

"In the second half, we defended well and shot unbelievable," Simmons said of the Lady Barons' expanding on their 46-37 halftime lead.

Sophomore guard Dannisha Winfrey came off the bench to lead the Lady Barons with 18 points and four assists.

Sophomore guard-forward and former Montgomery County High standout Tamika Drinks followed with 12 points, while sophomore guard Tori Williams of Valdosta had 11 points and sophomore guard Ashley Little of Lawrenceville added 10.

Senior guard-forward and Toombs County product Toya Rogers shared the team lead in steals (three) with senior guard Melody Walker of Statesboro. Sophomore guard Trivia Richardson of Dublin led the Lady Barons in rebounds with seven.

In its final non-conference game Jan. 13, Brewton-Parker overcame a slow start after a slight delay in Morris College's (S.C.) arrival to the Student Activities Center

The Lady Barons turned a one-point halftime lead into an 82-49 victory by overcoming 22 percent first-half shooting with a 50 percent shooting effort in the second half and outscoring the visiting Lady Hornets 58-26 after halftime.

"It was an ugly effort in the first half," said Simmons, whose seam finally saw Morris arrive right at game time and allowed the Lady Hornets a brief warm-up period. "We really got cold and just didn't start out well at all."

By game's end, however, the Lady Barons had forced 33 turnovers with 20 steals and shot 53 percent from 3-point range.

"We definitely stepped up our intensity in the second half," Simmons said. "We tried to speed up the game. They were running a 2-3 zone against us the entire game, and in the first half we couldn't get out of the gates quickly but I was really pleased with our effort in the second half."

Drinks recorded her sixth double-double of the season with team highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Winfrey followed with 14 points off the bench and was one of three players -- senior guard Trudie Ridley of Richmond Hill and Richardson the others -- with four steals apiece.

Ridley, in coming off the bench, also had a team-leading four assists with no turnovers, while Walker and Little added 12 points apiece.

Following Thursday's game against North Georgia, the Lady Barons take to the road Saturday for a 5 p.m. GACC game at Reinhardt College in Waleska. Brewton-Parker then plays Shorter College in a conference game Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Student Activities Center.


Brewton-Parker College sophomore guard Ashley Little fires a shot over a Morris College (S.C.) defender in first-half action of the teams' nonconference game Jan. 15 at the Student Activities Center on the Brewton-Parker campus in Mount Vernon. (Photo by Josh Niswonger)