Women’s Basketball Completes Historic Comeback To Advance In USA South Tournament
from Wes Gullett, Greensboro College Sports Information Director
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Greensboro College women’s basketball team came back from 18 points down heading into the fourth period to defeat the Fighting Squirrels of Mary Baldwin University Wednesday in the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament, 90-78, in overtime.
Over the first three minutes of the first period, Greensboro held a 10-8 lead before Mary Baldwin went on a 16-2 run over the next 4:29 to establish a 12-point lead before Nichelle Jeffries(Northeast Guilford High School) drained a three-pointer from the left side of the key to pull the Pride back to within nine.
However, the Squirrels were able to extend their lead back out to 12 points at the end of the first after closing out the final 1:28 of the period on a 4-1 run.
Over the next 4:01, Mary Baldwin extended its lead out to 37-22, but the Pride went on an 11-5 run to pull within nine points at the half. Destiny Timberlake and Kourtney Mitchell each had three points during the run, while Katie Lewis(Southeast Guilford High School) and Jeffries had two points each.
Following the halftime break, Mary Baldwin extended their lead out to 18 points on two separate occasions before the Pride began their comeback for the ages in the fourth period.
Jeffries hit a three-pointer at the start of the period before Mary Baldwin hit two free throws to make the score 67-50 with 9:24 remaining in regulation. Despite facing the 17-point deficit, Greensboro electrified the home faithful over the final 8:35 of the half with a 19-5 run to pull within three with just under a minute remaining.
With the Pride trailing 72-69, Sabria Joseph took an offensive charge with 23.1 showing on the clock and allowed Greensboro to advance the ball to mid-court, following a 30-second time out. On the inbounds, Katie Lewis got the ball into Ashley Free across the court before finding Diajah Hickson, who knocked down a three-pointer with 10.3 remaining to tie the game.
After the three, the Greensboro defense was able to hold strong following a Mary Baldwin timeout to send the game into overtime. During the extra segment, the two teams traded the lead two times before Jeffries hit yet another three-point to give the Pride an 81-78 lead.
However, Greensboro did not stop there as they connected on nine of their 11 free-throw attempts down the stretch to secure the 12-point victory and advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2020 USA South Athletic Conference Tournament.
“The atmosphere in the gym tonight was absolutely amazing,” Head Coach Randy Tuggle said. “I am so proud of my team as they never gave up and they continued to battle back. I am also very happy for Katie (Lewis) as she won the final home game of her career.”
Lewis finished with a game-high 23 points, while Jeffries went 3-for-3 from three-point land to finish with 19 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Ashley Free and Hickson also finished in double figures.
The Pride women will return to action Saturday when they travel to take on No.1- West seeded Berea College in the quarterfinal round of the tournament. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. For more information on Greensboro College women’s basketball, continue to follow www.greensborocollegesports.com