Photo by Dillard Stephens
FARMVILLE, Va. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team ended the 2012-13 regular season on a high note, holding off Longwood to win its seventh straight game in a 76-72 Saturday victory at Willett Hall.
PC improves to 19-10 and caps the regular season with a 14-4 Big South Conference record, tying for second. The Blue Hose will take the No. 3 seed and play in the Friday quarterfinals at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championships at The HTC Center. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. and PC will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 6 Radford and No. 11 UNC Asheville.
Longwood falls to 11-18 and 8-10 in the Big South. The No. 7 Lancers will face No. 10 Charleston Southern on Wednesday at noon.
The Blue Hose took a 14-point lead into halftime and held off a surging Lancers squad that crept to within one with seven seconds left. Karlee Taylor (Asheville, N.C.) converted two free throws before Longwood, out of timeouts, attempted to call a timeout and was assessed a technical foul. Taylor hit the next free throw and PC grabbed the offensive rebound on the second as the Blue Hose took the win.
Dria David (Lawrenceville, Ga.) set a new Division I-era record (since 2007-08) by dishing out 11 assists in the win. The total eclipses Katlin Moore’s 10 against Stetson on December 18, 2008 and moves David into eighth place in program history with 330 career assists. David scored 14 points with her 11 assists to posted her fifth career double-double and second this season, both against Longwood.
Karlee Taylor (Asheville, N.C.) led PC with 22 points thanks in part to five three-pointers while Mariah Pietrowski (Elizabethton, Tenn.) added 19 points on a 9-for-14 shooting performance. The senior’s nine field goals mark the third-most in a Division I game for PC. Shonda Burnside (Gray Court, S.C.) chipped in 10 rebounds and eight pounds.
Chelsea Coward led Longwood with a game-high 24 points.
PC took a 10 point lead into the final five minutes when Longwood began to steadily chip away at PC’s lead. The Lancers used free throws from the bonus to pull within four and a Chelsea Coward layup cut PC’s lead to three with 59 seconds left.
Coward converted another free throw but missed the second and Pietrowski hauled in the rebound. One missed PC free throw later, the Lancers turned the ball over and fouled David to stop the clock. David knocked down both foul shots, giving PC a four-point lead and setting up Raven Williams’s three-pointer and Taylor’s clutch free throws.
The Blue Hose shot 55.8 percent on the night (29-for-52) and slowly built a lead throughout the first half. A 12-2 run erased a slim Longwood advantage and put the Blue Hose in front by nine points midway through the period. PC dominated inside early, outscoring Longwood 22-13 in the paint at halftime.
Devin Fothergill (Somerset, Ky.) gave PC a double-digit lead on a layup with 7:16 left before the break and Burnside added a layup for a 12-point advantage. Longwood roared back with seven straight points but went the final 4:46 without a score as PC restored its lead. Pietrowski capped the nine-point run with a jumper to send the Blue Hose ahead at halftime, 39-25.
PC held onto a double-digit lead for most of the second half. Longwood narrowed the gap to nine at the 1:33 mark before the Blue Hose stretched their lead back to 17 with 9:34 remaining. The Lancers then found eight straight points and pulled within 10 to kickstart their late-game run.
Noelle Carter (Neptune, N.J.) blocked two shots to match a season-high.