The Pride women’s basketball team trailed at the half, and by double digits early in the second half, but stormed back to defeat Methodist, 68-64. Greensboro got ten or more points from four of their starters and played strong defense down the stretch to claim their fourth straight victory and move to 8-2 in conference play. A loss by conference leading Ferrum places The Pride in a tie for second place in the conference just past the halfway point in the season.
Greensboro jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but two quick baskets by Jackie Lyles pulled the Monarchs even. The teams traded baskets for five minutes and a lay-up by Bianca Richburg pulled The Pride to within one at the 16:52 mark. Methodist began to pull away however, sparked by the strong play of Lyles. The Monarchs extended their lead to six, 16-10, and then further to eight at 22-14.
The Pride clawed their way back into the game with two foul shots by Jena Cabe and a three by Andrienne Terrell which cut the lead to 22-19. Despite Greensboro’s defensive effort, The Monarchs continued their hot shooting and a seven point run pushed their lead to double digits for the first time. Terrell countered with an old-fashion three point play and Dorian McInnis hit a long three as Greensboro closed the gap to five, 38-33, before the half.
Methodist had their minds focused on an upset as they came out in the second half on a 10-3 run, jumping in front, 48-36. Following a Greensboro timeout, Richburg and Chevena Pickard hit consecutive lay-ups to cut the deficit back to single digits. Tyson Jordan’s lay-up made the score 50-40, then Greensboro made its move. Pickard converted two free throws, and then Duncan made a lay-up, cutting the deficit to six. With The Pride in a full court press, Duncan grabbed a steal and found Terrell for an easy basket.
Methodist head coach DeeDee Jarman called a quick timeout, trying to halt The Pride’s run, but Greensboro’s momentum could not be slowed, as Richburg scored three more points to pull within one, 50-49. Taylor thwarted Greensboro’s chance to take their first lead since the opening minutes, but The Pride stayed within three and finally found their break with 6:55 showing on the clock. Richburg again found her way to the basket, getting fouled along the way, and converted the three point play to knot the game 56-56.
Duncan made a lay-up to give The Pride their first lead of the second half, but Methodist continued to fight, re-taking the lead three minutes later. With the Monarchs leading 64-60 with two minutes remaining, Duncan again put The Pride on her shoulders, scoring two lay-ups to tie the game once more. Greensboro locked down on defense on Methodist’s next possession, forcing Lyles into a bad shot and grabbing the defensive rebound.
It was Richburg who would score the decisive points for Greensboro, sinking two free throws after being fouled by Emily Huneycutt. Terrell would ice the game in the dying moments with two free throws of her own after another missed jumper by Lyles. Huneycutt would throw up a desperation three in the final second, but it wouldn’t fall, and Greensboro claimed the hard fought, come-from-behind victory, 68-64.
Duncan led all scorers with 20 points, while grabbing seven rebounds and Richburg added 16 points with eight rebounds. Terrell and Pickard notched ten points apiece and Cabe led all players with ten rebounds. Lyles lead the Monarchs in points with 14, rebounds with eight, and assists with eight as well.
The Pride will be looking for their fifth straight victory and the ninth win in league play on Saturday when they travel to Mary Baldwin for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off. Greensboro is 12-1 all-time against the Fighting Squirrels. The women will return home on the last day of January for a re-match with the Pacers of Peace College. Greensboro won the first match-up 71-56.