by Gary Stepp
The Cincinnati Christian Eagles scored the final four points of the game to fend off the Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles 76-72 in a tight matchup played at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center.
In the first half, the game was nip and tuck throughout. Neither team led by more than 3 points at any juncture and there were a total of 6 ties. Midway hit two buckets in the last 30 seconds and took a 37-34 lead at intermission.
In the second half, the teams traded hoops until ALC forward Amber Sheppard tied the game at 40 on a bucket with 17:04 remaining.
Unfortunately for the home team, the entire complexion of the game was changed when CCU went go on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to leap ahead by 11 (53-42).
Rather than roll over, the girls in royal and white fought back and began to cut into the deficit. When Carla Booth sank a layup at 5:20, Alice Lloyd led 60-59.
Once again, Cincinnati went on a spurt. Over the next three minutes, they outscored their hosts 11-4, and led 70-64.
Incredibly, ALC would claw back again by going on a 10-4 run. First, freshman Sara Robinson had two consecutive steals which led to buckets. Next, Morgan Jones sank a three. After a defensive stop, Shepherd sank a three point bomb with 1:00 remaining. Suddenly, the score was tied at 74 and the fans were in frenzy.
In need of a goal CCU found Amanda Baute, who sank a huge layup with .28 remaining.
On the next possession, the hosts once again found the hot-handed Shepherd who attempted another 3 to help her club retake the lead. Unfortunately, it was blocked by Baute, who corralled the loose ball. She quickly found teammate Amanda Mason, who was fouled. When Mason sank both tosses with 12 ticks remaining, she set the final score.
For ALC (6-15; 2-8 KIAC), Shepherd led all scorers with 24 points. She added 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 assists. Booth added 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists of her own, while Serena Nickell contributed 12 points.
For CCU (11-11; 4-4 KIAC), Baute led the way with 19 points and 17 rebounds.
On the night, Alice Lloyd shot 38.7% from the floor including 35% from long range (7-20). CCU shot 44% from the floor, but just 15% (2-13) from deep. Critically, they hit more free-throws (26-33) compared to the hosts (9-11). CCU also won the battle of the boards, 45-27.
The Eagles return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Berea to face the Mountaineers of Berea College at 7:30. The next home game is Saturday as they face the Asbury University Eagles. Tipoff is scheduled for 2pm.