CLINTON, S.C. - The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team (9-6, 4-0 Big South) returns to Templeton Center with a Big South Conference lead and the best Big South start in its history to host the Longwood Lancers (6-8, 3-0 Big South) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Blue Hose enter the clash of the league’s top two teams after dispatching previously 3-0 Liberty on Thursday (51-49) and previously 2-0 Campbell in overtime on Saturday (68-62).
The Blue Hose will look to grab its first-ever win against Longwood following four straight defeats to the Lancers, with the last coming at Templeton Center on February 17, 2009. The Lancers took a 50-35 victory in the only matchup in Clinton. The two sides met twice during the 1994-95 season and one other time in the Division I era, when Longwood knocked off the Blue Hose by a 73-58 margin on February 24, 2008.
Longwood enters Saturday’s matchup with a 6-8 overall meeting and a 3-0 Big South marker, bringing a three-game winning streak to Clinton that saw the Lancers knocked off Radford (57-49), Gardner-Webb (87-75) and Winthrop (79-74). Longwood ranks second in the Big South in turnover margin (+2.50) and averages 7.1 three-pointers per game, pacing the league in that category.
In the last five games (over which the Blue Hose are 4-1), Dria David paces the Blue Hose with 11.6 points per game and 4.8 assists per contest. Mariah Pietrowski’s 6.2 rebounds per game lead the team in that category and the senior also averages in the double digits with 10.2 points per game.
PC’s current four-game league winning streak matches last year’s consecutive wins against Winthrop, UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb and Radford for the longest Big South winning streak in program history. Dating back to last season, the Blue Hose have won 10 of their last 13 Big South Conference matchups.
PC erased a 21-point halftime deficit to force overtime and knock off the Campbell Camels on Saturday afternoon, 68-62. Down 40-19 at halftime, PC shot 70.6 percent (12-for-17) in the second half to outscore the home side 37-16 in the period and 12-6 in overtime. The Blue Hose trailed by 16 with 7:57 left in regulation and finished the second half on an 18-2 run to force the bonus period. Dria David sunk a free throw with 1.6 seconds left to send the game into overtime and scored eight straight points to reverse a 62-60 overtime deficit and seal the victory. Kasey Hobbie also knocked down six three-pointers for a career-high 20 points.
PC outlasted a Liberty Flames rally on Thursday night to earn a Big South Conference victory in thrilling fashion, 51-49. The Blue Hose enjoyed its largest lead of the game with 5:08 after building a 13-point advantage, 51-38. PC then withstood an 11-point Liberty run to hold on for the victory, its first-ever in 10 meetings with the 14-time league champions.
In the second halves of PC’s last four games (UCF, Coastal Carolina, Liberty and Campbell), opponents are shooting 22.5 percent (25-for-111) while the Blue Hose are shooting 52.2 percent (47-for-90) and hold a combined second-half scoring edge of 132-82. The Blue Hose have also held five of their last six opponents (Brevard, UCF, Coastal Carolina, Liberty and Campbell) to a 29.0 percent shooting percentage (112-for-238) and an average of 47.2 points per game. PC boasts the Big South Conference’s top defense, limiting opponents to 55.5 points per game through 15 contests.
Through four Big South games, PC boasts the league’s best scoring defense (49.5 points per game), field goal percentage (44.8 percent) and field goal percentage defense (30.4 percent) while ranking second in rebounding defense (35.5 per game), third in assists (15.5 per game) and three-point field goal percentage (37.0 percent). Dria David paces the league with 5.8 per Big South game and Mariah Pietrowski ranks first in field goal percentage, shooting at a 68.2 clip.
The Blue Hose stay at home to kick off a PC hoops doubleheader with a Saturday matchup against Radford at 5 p.m. The Blue Hose men follow against Campbell at 7:30 p.m. The lobby will also feature a Kids’ Zone that includes face-painting, a balloon artist and more from 6 to 8 p.m.