The Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles traveled to Grayson to play Kentucky Christian University, the nation’s top ranked NCCAA team, on Friday. ALC fell woefully behind in the first half, but battled back in the final half before finally succumbing 61-51.
In the opening half, the hosts jumped out of the gates strong and took an early lead. Alice Lloyd hurt themselves with poor shooting on offense and breakdowns on defense. Consequently, they trailed 37-18 at the break.
Playing the undefeated Knights on their home floor and trailing by a substantial margin, most teams would have given up. To the team’s credit, ALC refused to roll over and began to atone for their poor first half with solid defense and better offense in the last stanza.
Sparked by forwards Ariel Nickell and Hayley Smith, the Lady Eagles scrapped their way back into contention as they slowly ate into the huge lead. When ALC’S Nickell connected on a contested jumper in the paint with 4:00 remaining, the deficit was incredibly just four (51-47).
Unfortunately for Alice Lloyd, the comeback fell a little short. KCU regrouped and showed their championship mentality as they got a huge bucket on their next possession. The exhausted Lady Eagles could get no closer.
For ALC (1-13), Nickell led all scorers as the smooth–shooting sophomore tossed in a game high 22 points. She also completed a double-double, adding 12 rebounds.
Smith impressed as well, as the freshman finished the night with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Sophomore Courtney Crowder led all players with 5 assists.
For KCU (13-0) Tanya Bowens led four players in double figures by tossing in 14.
The difference in the game was rebounding, an area that ALC has been very successful in as of late. On this night, however, the hosts won the battle of the boards 54-36.