Pippa Passes, KY: The Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles, under the guidance of veteran coach John Mills, used a school-record 40 point opening period to torch the twenty-fifth ranked University of Rio Grande Lady Red Storm, 103-72. The big River States Conference stunner was held on January 19th.
Last season, the two squads battled until the final minute in the RSC Tournament Championship game. The Red Storm finally emerged victorious and both squads would advance to the NAIA National Tournament.
Fast-forward one year and ALC had to replace the do-everything Wilson twins while Rio had suffered several devastating injuries which hurt their lineup. However, both teams knew a lot was at stake in this match as the fight for the top seed in their respective divisions plays out.
In the first period, the hosts eased out to a 15-11 lead at the 5:49 mark. At that point, the Lady Eagles exploded.
Over the next five minutes, senior guard Courtney Vazquez and sophomore guard Ali May would combine for 15 points to propel the ladies from Caney Creek on a 20-6 run. When the buzzer sounded later to end the quarter, ALC had produced a mind-boggling forty points and led 40-22.
During the next ten minutes, Alice Lloyd kept the pressure on. Sophomore guard Shelby Davis bagged back-to-back trifectas while sophomore guard Haley Hall and junior guard Katie Moore each scored 5 points. The balanced effort allowed the home squad to enter the locker room for intermission with a huge 62-36 advantage.
In the third stanza, Rio would come out with a lot of fight and began to chip into the deficit. The Red Storm put the ball in the hands of their talented guard Jaida Carter, and let her go to work. The quick-silver guard would pump in 9 points in a run that saw the deficit shrink to 19 points (69-50).
Fortunately for the home fans, they did not have to fret long as ALC once more raced their engines and closed the quarter on a 13-4 run. They would sprint ahead 82-54 with ten minutes remaining.
In the fourth, The Lady Eagles would continue the domination as they never allowed the lead to shrink below twenty-five. All players would contribute as the home fans were able to cheer the important victory.
For Alice Lloyd (10-6; 7-3 RSC), six players reached double figures. They were led on the night by Hall with 18 points and 5 rebounds. May bagged 3-5 bombs on her way to a 15 point night.
Freshman guard Hanna Kash produced 14 points, while Vasquez played well with 11 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds of her own. Moore and Davis chipped in with 10 points respectively, while senior center Emilie Harrell and Vasquez each had 2 steals.
ALC shot 48.1% (37-77) from the field and 39.5% (15-38) from long range. They sank 82.4% (14-17) from the foul line. They also added 38 rebounds, 21 assists, and 12 steals.
Rio Grande (13-8; 4-5 RSC) was led by Carter’s game-high 32 points. Her club finished shooting 41.1% (23-56) from the floor and 26.3% (5-19) from behind the arc. They sank 67.7% (21-31) from the foul line. They also added 36 rebounds, 6 assists, and 7 steals.
ALC returns to action this week for three road games, including two huge conference matchups. On Tuesday, January 22nd, they face Kentucky Christian University at 5:30 pm. They will follow that with a road trip to Pittsburgh (PA) for two critical conference tilts. On Friday, January 25th, they have a 6:00 matchup against Carlow University. Finally, they close out the week on Saturday, January 26th when they face Point Park University at 1:00 pm.