PIPPA PASSES, KY: Junior guard Miranda Wilson sank a clutch free throw with 5.8 seconds remaining, and four players would reach double-figures scoring to help lift the Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles to a thrilling 77-76 comeback victory over the Rio Grande University Red Storm. The big River States Conference contest was played Tuesday, January 17.
In the opening stanza, Rio would use their all-around size to pound the ball inside against the Lady Eagles. They would dominate the ten-minute segment and double up the score after one quarter of play, 24-12.
In the second quarter, with the matchup appearing to be heading downhill for the girls from Caney Creek, the hosts would claw their way back. Sparked by some timely shooting, ALC would outscore the visitors 23-18, and head into intermission within striking distance (42-35).
In the third quarter, Coach John Mills’ squad would continue to battle. When the buzzer sounded signifying the close of the period, they would trail by just six at 64-58.
With the game anyone’s for the taking, and the excitement level building, Alice Lloyd responded. The Eagles tightened up the screws on the defensive end holding the visitors to just 12 points, while on offense, Wilson, her twin sister Kayla Wilson, senior guard Amber Shepherd, and junior guard Bailey O’Brian sank critical buckets. The Lady Eagles would creep close, but still could not take the lead.
Finally, with the score showing the Red Storm clinging to a 76-74 lead with .45 seconds remaining, ALC had the ball and called a play for Shepherd. The smooth shooting forward coolly sank a contested clutch shot with her foot on the three point line that tied the score at 76.
Rio would get the ball back and attempted to run the clock down for a good attempt. However, much to the delight of the home crowd, Miranda Wilson would step up and knock the ball loose. She picked it up and began racing toward the hoop when she was tripped from behind with 5.2 remaining. Her first attempt rimmed out, but the crowd’s groans were replaced with delirious cheers when she bagged the second to put the hosts up 77-76.
On their final possession, the Red Storm got the ball to guard Jaida Carter. She attacked the goal and attempted to score over the outstretched arms of Lady Eagle forward Sara Robinson. Her solid defense was just enough to throw the attempt off, and the horn sounded as the teams scrambled for the rebound.
For ALC (7-8; 3-6 RSC), Shepherd led the way with a game-high 19 points. The Wilson sisters were right behind as Miranda tossed in 16 and Kayla added 14, while O’Brian added 12 to the effort. Robinson ripped down 13 big rebounds while freshman guard Jayla Spurlock dished out 4 assists.
For Rio, (12-8; 4-4 RSC), Abby Wendel led three double-figure scorers with 16 points.
Overall, the victors shot 37.3% (22-59; 7-23 threes) from the field and 66.7% (26-39) from the free throw line, while grabbing 46 boards, handing out 10 assists and grabbing 14 steals.
RU shot 41.3% (26-63; 5-11 threes) from the floor and 70.4% (19-27) from the free throw line. They added 36 rebounds, 9 assists, and 6 steals.
The Lady Eagles are off until Saturday, January 21st when they return home to face the Welch College Flames at 1:00 pm.