by Gary Stepp
Senior guard Carla Booth was determined to have a grand senior night, and she did just that by tossing in 30 points to lead the Alice Lloyd Eagles to a thrilling 89-87 conference victory over the Brescia University Bearcats. The KIAC showdown was played Saturday afternoon at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center.
The beginning of the game was emotional as the Eagles recognized their three seniors: first year letter-winner Noelle Banks (who unfortunately was home with an illness), three year letter-winner Carla McDaniel, and three year letter-winner Carla Booth (transfer from Eastern Kentucky University).
The first half was tight, as Brescia led 22-21 with 9:09 remaining on the clock. The Eagles managed to pull ahead by one(29-28) with 4:41 left before going on a 14-4 run over the next three minutes to lead 43-32. When the buzzer sounded for intermission, the hosts held a 43-35 advantage.
In the second half, the visitors refused to quit, as they kept chipping away at the deficit. When Bearcat guard Darrian McNary sank two free throws with 4:04 remaining, BU led 74-73.
On ALC’s next possession, Booth drilled a huge three point bomb to allow the hosts to take the lead for good (76-73). The last two minutes were a free throw party as both clubs traded foul shots.
The Bearcats got one final shot to send the game into overtime, but, Julie Whitfield, their leading scorer, missed an 18 foot shot at the buzzer.
For the winners (7-18; 3-10 KIAC), Booth led the way with 30 points on 10-17 field goals (and 5-9 from behind the arc). She also added 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block.
Joining her in double figures was Amber Shepherd with 15 points. Serena Nickell and Tailor Morgan stepped up in a big way, as each chipped in with 11. Nickell completed a double-double by virtue of her 10 crucial rebounds. McDaniel played solid defense all night and contributed 4 points and 3 rebounds.
Brescia (11-15; 5-8 KIAC), who was swept this season by the Eagles, was led by McNary with 27.
On the night, Alice Lloyd shot 49.1% from the floor (28-57), and an impressive 50% from long range (7-14). BU shot just 34.7% from the floor (25-72), and 24% from long distance (7-29).
Alice Lloyd hit 66.7% of their free-throws (26-39) compared to Brescia’s 75 % (30-40). The victors also won the crucial battle of the boards, 40-38.
The Lady Eagles will travel to Asbury University on Saturday, February 21st and will end the 2014-2015 regular season Sunday at Midway College.