by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sports Reporter
The Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles journeyed to Berea, Kentucky on Tuesday, February 18th, to take on the Berea College Lady Mountaineers. The Lady Eagles overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to earn an important victory, defeating their conference rivals, 85-83. With the win, ALC retains its #1 ranking in the KIAC as we hurdle towards next week’s conference tournament.
ALC was eyeing their sixth consecutive win and ninth in their last ten contests. However, the hosts showed Alice Lloyd from the opening tip that they were going to have to fight for this one.
The Lady Mountaineers came out of the gate on an 11-5 run in the first five minutes of play. Later in the half, ALC would counter BC’s attack and take their first lead at the 10:09 mark (18-17). Berea would regain the lead with about three minutes to go (32-30) and end the half on an 8-2 run; they led 40-32 at intermission.
In the second half, Alice Lloyd went on a spurt of their own (12-4) to tie the game at 44 with seventeen minutes remaining. The contest would remain a slugfest the rest of the way as neither team could build a lead larger than four points. With 9:13 to go, Berea held a slight two-point margin (65-63), but ALC would inch ahead 70-69 with seven minutes left and refuse to relinquish it. Berea continued to battle hard and hit a clutch shot to tie the game at 83 with less than twenty ticks remaining. With the ball in their hands and the shot clock off, the Eagles looked to Carla Booth, who was fouled on a driving layup to the basket with 2 seconds showing. The junior guard would coolly swish both attempts to give ALC an 85-83 lead. BC’s last opportunity to tie or win the game was stolen by Booth on an inbounds pass, clinching the come-from-behind victory for the visitors.
For ALC (17-7, 12-3 KIAC), senior Ariel Nickell had a great game with 35 points on 9-18 shooting and a torrid 15-17 free throws. She also added 8 rebounds. Booth, the second part of the dynamic duo, contributed 25 points, 6 boards, 4 steals, and 4 assists. Senior Courtney Crowder chipped in with 9 points, while freshman Taylor Arthur led the way by corralling 10 big rebounds.
Berea (12-12, 8-8 KIAC) was led by Johnesha Warren, who played a fine game of her own, with 28 points.
Berea played a hard-fought game inside, causing ALC to uncharacteristically lose the rebounding war, 40-37. In such a close contest, the difference came down to foul shooting. The Lady Mountaineers lost out on seven free points, going 13-20 from the stripe.
Alice Lloyd will once again have its #1 ranking severely tested as they go on the road to battle KIAC #2 Asbury University on Thursday, February 20th. Game time is set for 6 PM. You can watch live coverage of the game here.