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No. 10 Lady Barons keep perfect record intact

After beginning last week by gaining Brewton-Parker College's highest ever NAIA Division I women's basketball rating, the Lady Barons proved their worthiness of their No. 10 ranking Saturday by rallying to defeat No. 14 Lee University 76-71 in overtime at Cleveland, Tenn.

The Lady Barons' Southern States Athletic Conference victory broke a tie between the early co-leaders and lifted Brewton-Parker (3-0 SSAC) to 12-0 overall.

Lee (9-3, 2-1) held a 38-32 halftime lead before Brewton-Parker junior guard Dannisha Winfrey broke out of a foul-plagued, first-half lull and scored 19 of her team-high 21 points after halftime.

Sophomore forward Brandi Kea of Statesboro aided in the second-half rally by scoring eight points in the final five minutes, which ended with a 65-all deadlock to force overtime. A Lee field goal attempt came up short to end regulation .

With Winfrey and junior guard-forward Tamika Drinks lost to the Lady Barons in overtime thanks to fouls, junior guard Ashley Little answered the call with two huge 3-point baskets and 3 of 4 free throws to lead Brewton-Parker's 11-6 OT rally. Little finished with 19 points.

While Lee had a 43-31 advantage in rebounds, the Lady Barons forced 33 Lady Flames turnovers, 20 on steals. Winfrey had five thefts and junior guard Trivia Richardson of Dublin (East Laurens) made four picks to go with her 14-point effort.

"We only had four people step up in scoring, but everybody played great defensively," said Brewton-Parker head coach Sheila Simmons, adding that the Lady Barons really did not feel any pressure to maintain their unbeaten ways with Reinhardt College visiting BPC on Monday for the first-semester finale.

"We are just taking it game-by-game. We are just concentrating on one game at a time and not focusing on any big picture."

In a story on Lee's Web site, first-year Lady Flames coach Marty Rowe was complimentary of Brewton-Parker's performance.

"We probably will not face another team like that again this season," Rowe said. "But it is early and we will continue to work hard and get better."

Stacy Felchner paced Lee's scoring with 17 points, while Lindsey Sparks followed with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

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Victories over two top-10 ranked teams in one week's time proved to be worth some reward for the Lady Barons, who on Dec. 7 received an unprecedented No. 10 rating in the first regular-season NAIA Division I women's basketball poll.

The Lady Barons, who missed a Top 25 preseason ranking by four spots, leaped all the way into the top 10 thanks to its 11-0 start that included the two wins over the preseason No. 6 and 10 teams.

"We have been consistent on offense, but the way we have played defense every night shows that we have stepped up a level when it comes to expectations," Simmons said.

The ranking is the first for a Brewton-Parker team with an unbeaten record and surpasses the No. 15 rating the 2000-01 Lady Barons received in February 2001, the first year the program qualified for the NAIA I National Tournament and the first of four consecutive seasons with at least 20 victories.

That season was also the last during which Brewton-Parker defeated Auburn University Montgomery, a drought the Lady Barons ended Dec. 2 with a convincing 75-60 win at home in Gillis Gymnasium. The Lady Senators, who were ranked No. 10 in the preseason ratings, fell to 17th with their second early-season loss.

Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.), which the Lady Barons defeated in a classic at North Georgia College and State University, actually rose one spot to No. 5 from the preseason ranking.

"Our success and ranking is a tribute to the consistency of our team captains, both on and off the floor," Simmons said. "Crystal McNeil (senior forward from Pensacola, Fla.), Tamika Drinks (junior guard-forward from Mount Vernon) and Trivia Richardson (junior guard from Dublin) offer more than just having additional leadership. Then with Ashley Little (junior guard from Lawrenceville), there are four who are key to maintaining our attitude.

" We're not even halfway through the season," said Simmons, whose team finished the fall semester Monday night with a home game against SSAC foe Reinhardt College in Gillis Gymnasium. "It's great for recognition of what we have done so far, but we can't look ahead or behind."

"We are excited about this team and its unique personality," said Dr. David R. Smith, Brewton-Parker's president. "We look forward to seeing them develop as good players and even better people over the coming season."

-BPC-

Brewton-Parker College News & Information
Brewton-Parker College | Located on U.S. 280 at 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, P. O. Box 197, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
 
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
 
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM