Kokomo, IN: On Saturday, February 9th, the Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles journeyed to Indiana to battle the River States Western Division’s top team, the Indiana University Kokomo Lady Cougars. For the second time this season, the contest took five extra minutes to decide the winner, and for the second time this season, the Lady Eagles prevailed in a thriller, 110-99.
Kokomo entered the matchup nursing a one-game lead over ALC for the division lead. With only one week left in regular season and so much riding on the outcome of this contest, both teams came ready to play.
In the opening period, Alice Lloyd would ride the hot shooting of sophomore guard Haley Hall to jump out to an early lead. Hall would pump in 10 points in the first period and help spark her club to a slight19-18 advantage after one quarter of play.
In the second stanza, junior guard Katie Moore decided to get in on the fun. With her club clinging to a 27-25 advantage and 6:20 on the clock, she led the team on an 18-9 spurt to end the half. In large part due to the 26 big points the two guards accounted for, the visitors would enter the locker room for intermission on top 45-36.
IUK was not leading the division due to some fluke, and they came out of the dressing room ready to turn the tables. In the third quarter, they relied on their fine guard Tia Chambers to deliver and her solid all-around play would give the home fans reason to cheer. After trailing the majority of the way, Kokomo would fight back and outscore the Lady Eagles 26-17. Suddenly, with ten minutes left to play, the score was knotted at 62-62.
The final stanza was a slugfest. After exchanging hoops early on, the Indiana cagers would finally use six straight points by Chambers to pull ahead 81-76 with 3:40 remaining. The partisan crowd was starting to feel much better about the outcome.
Over the next two minutes, ALC’s Hall would drain a trifecta and sink another bucket as well, but as the clock wound down to the final sixty seconds, Kokomo still led, 87-83.
Once again, ALC would refuse to go away without a fight.
First, with .38 showing, senior center Emilee Harrell would drill a big jumper to slice the deficit in half (87-85).
Next, the visitors watched junior forward Jayla Spurlock come up with a big steal and call timeout with .21 on the clock.
Hoping to tie or take the lead, the Lady Eagles would get the ball to Hall who would unfortunately lose it to Chambers at .13; hope seemed to be slipping away.
Incredibly, Hall would not give up on the play and stole the ball back from her foe at .08. As Hall raced to the bucket, she was fouled with just six ticks remaining.
With the crowd on its feet, Hall showed that ice water flows in her veins as she calmly swished both tosses. Now, the scoreboard read 87-87.
Everyone in the gymnasium knew who would take the final shot. IUK wisely got the ball in the hands of their star Chambers, but good team defense caused her to miss her
In the overtime period, the two clubs took turns sinking huge buckets. Eventually, with 2:30 left, and the game tied at 94, the crowd would witness its turning point.
On their next possession the ladies from Caney Creek would find Hall, who drained a 23-foot bomb to give her club a 97-94 lead. Next, after buckling down on the defensive end and forcing Chambers into a miss, Hall snagged the errant attempt.
Alice Lloyd would then patiently work the clock, looking for a good opportunity. Finally, with just two seconds glaring on the shot clock, Hall would stunningly swish another deep bomb. After the dust settled, with 1:40 left to play, the score now stood 100-94.
Kokomo would now have no choice but to foul. Hall and center Alexandria Clifton would then slam the door shut by combining to drain 10-12 from the charity line.
For ALC (15-8; 11-5 RSC), Hall led the way with a career high 36 points. She connected on 10-24 from the floor (5-8 3PT FG) and 11-12 from the charity line. She added a team-high 8 rebounds and chipped in with 1 steal and 1 assist in a virtuoso performance.
Moore played exceptional as well. The guard pumped in 26 points on 7-16 field goals, and was a perfect 12-12 on her foul shots. She also led the way with 4 steals and added 2 assists. On the night, her and her backcourt buddy Hall combined for 62 points, while sinking an excellent 23-24 from the free throw line.
Fellow sophomores, Shelby Davis and Clifton both came up big as well. Guard Davis came off the bench to sink 5-7 from the floor for 12 points while Clifton contributed 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 big blocks. Classmate Makayla Akers added 5 rebounds and swatted 3 shots of her own to tie in that department.
On the night, Alice Lloyd connected on 40.5% (30-74) from the floor and 38.9 % (7-18) from long range. From the charity line, they sank an incredible 89.6% (43-48). Additionally, they registered 49 rebounds, 15 assists, 9 steals and 9 blocks.
Kokomo (14-10; 10-5 RSC) was led by Chambers with 32 points. Her club connected on 39% (32-82) from the field and 21.4% (3-24) from long range. From the charity line, they sank a solid 84% (32-38). Additionally, they registered 46 rebounds, 9 assists, 10 steals and 6 blocks.
The Lady Eagles return to action next week for three big games to close out the regular season. On Tuesday, February 12th they host conference foe Midway University at 5:30 pm. They then take to the road Thursday for the final conference game against Asbury University at 5:30 pm. Both of these games will help determine the final season standings.
They follow that up on Saturday afternoon in a 1:00 pm showdown against nonconference opponent Kentucky Christian University on senior day.