by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sports Reporter
The Alice Lloyd women’s hoops team went back out on the road Thursday, February 20th. This time, ALC battled the Asbury Lady Eagles. Alice Lloyd’s hopes for the number one seed in next week’s KIAC tournament were dashed in this one as the visitors lost a close one, 72-67.
Going into this contest, the Lady Eagles had played brilliantly as the guests on the scoreboard had won their last six games, including an incredible double-overtime victory over Asbury on February 11th. After four minutes of play in the opening half, AU held a slight margin over ALC (14-10). Later in the half, Asbury took a 29-19 advantage with 8:03 left. After AU extended their lead, Alice Lloyd reeled off twelve unanswered points to take a two-point lead with 5:03 remaining (31-29). The first half looked a lot like the first game when these two teams played — close and competitive — as Alice Lloyd went into the half up 37-35.
It was a difficult start to the second half for the visiting Lady Eagles. Asbury started the half on a 6-0 run to recapture the lead about a minute into the second half (41-37). ALC would respond, though, as they would battle back to take a 45-40 lead with 15:16 left in the game. But back came Asbury as the hosting Lady Eagles took a 56-52 advantage with ten and half minutes remaining. It would be back and forth for the next eight minutes until Asbury took a small lead (67-65). Then, Asbury’s Annissia Wood made a field goal to make it 70-67 with 1:03 left in the game. ALC tried to cut into AU’s thin gap but missed, and the home team would make two free throws to put the game out of reach.
For Alice Lloyd (17-8, 12-4 KIAC), Ariel Nickell led the way with a monster double-double performance — 28 points to go with an amazing 23 rebounds. Point guard Carla Booth was held to only 8 points and 3 assists while committing 6 turnovers. Taylor Arthur, normally a powerhouse presence for ALC in the post, was relegated to 5 points and 5 rebounds. Freshman Morgan Chesnut tried to help matters by putting up 8 points and fighting to claim 6 boards.
Wood paced Asbury (23-6, 13-4 KIAC) with 15 points.
Alice Lloyd actually outshot Asbury (40% to 39%), and the rebounding totals were even at 45. Asbury won this game by taking care of the basketball, recording 11 turnovers to ALC’s 17. ALC also struggled at the free throw line, going 11-of-19 on the night.
The Lady Eagles have one game remaining in regular season play. A win would potentially keep them as a solid #2, just ahead of Point Park. Their final game will feature them going head-to-head with the Brescia Lady Bearcats on Sunday, February 23rd, in Pippa Passes. Game time is set for 2 PM. Senior Day activities will be observed prior to the start of the men’s game at 4 PM.