The Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles closed the regular portion of their season last night with a visit to top-seeded Asbury University. In a contest that went down to the wire, the Lady Eagles lost a nail-biter, 88-83.
In the first half, Asbury shot well early as they sprinted out to a 10-1 lead by the 15:42 mark. The hosts maintained their cushion over the next five minutes and took their largest lead of 11 (32-21) on a fast break-bucket at 7:11.
The Lady Eagles battled back behind the leadership of sophomore Ariel Nickell and senior Bailey Gabbard. Over the remainder of the half, the duo combined for twenty of the next twenty-two ALC points to help the visitors close the half on a 22-12 run. When the buzzer sounded for intermission, the Asbury lead was reduced to just one (44-43).
In the second half, Asbury pulled out to a six-point lead (59-53) with 13:59 to go, only to watch ALC go on an 11-4 run over the next four minutes to take their first lead of the game at 64-63.
The game remained nip and tuck as time was running out, but Asbury made some big shots in the closing minutes. This clutch-shooting combined with several key free throws helped Asbury pull out the victory.
For ALC (10-20, 6-5 KIAC), Nickell (pictured at left) continued her phenomenal play by pouring in 35 points on 10-20 field goals and 13-15 free throws. She also added 12 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Gabbard connected on 5-8 from behind the arc and chipped in with 15 points. Sophomore Courtney Crowder and senior Nikki Durman contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively. Senior Sarah Burchell handed out 7 assists.
Asbury (17-11, 9-2 KIAC) was led by Laura Carroll with 27 points.
The stats show just how closely matched the two clubs were. ALC shot 48% (26-53) to AU’s 46% (34-73) from the floor and shot 85.7 % (24-28) from the charity stripe to Asbury’s 93.3% (14-15). Both squads had 32 rebounds each.