Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

March 2, 2014

Webster leads Lady Lions, Osborne wins 200th

ATHENS — Sammi Webster left the Carter Center a winner on Saturday evening.

The only senior on the Lady Lions’ women’s basketball team scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and contributed to a dandy defensive game as Concord University defeated UVa-Wise 70-62 in their season finale on the Christie-Cox Court.

“I really wanted to get this win and leave this gym knowing that I played well (and) we won the game,” Webster said. “I was just focusing on helping the team ... any way I could.”

Jacqueline Kestner added 10 rebounds and four assists, freshman Olivia Morgan had nine assists and Andrea Bertrand and Leslie Mack chipped in 15 and 11 points for Concord (10-16, 8-14 Mountain East), which broke a seven-game losing streak by shooting 48 percent from the field.

“It was definitely a team effort. We’re a very selfless team,” Webster said. “It is the little things — it’s like setting a screen to get someone open. That’s not in the boxscore, but that’s how the person scored the points.”

“I definitely take pride in that kind of stuff. I’m not going to be the person that scores 20 points a game, every game, but I’m going to be the person that helps someone score 20 points a game.”

Kestner said, “We just wanted to get her a win.”

Four Lady Lions scored in a span of about three minutes to turn a 10-5 deficit into a 15-12 lead, controlling the paint. The first half ended with CU shooting 52 percent from the field, to take a 37-28 lead. The Highland Cavaliers made just 10 field goals and four free throws.

Rachel Artrip’s 3-pointer gave Concord its first double-digit lead, 40-28.

But UVa-Wise (9-17, 5-17) got seven straight points from freshman Taylor Sandidge in a 12-2 surge that gave the visitors their last lead, 51-50 with 9:08 left.

Cavaliers head coach Kristin Kunzman said, “They don’t give up. I think that speaks a lot to our character.”

In the last 8:30, UVa-Wise scored just one field goal and Concord got points on 10 of its last 13 possessions to break out of a 55-55 tie and secure the win — the 200th coaching victory for Kenny Osborne as Concord’s head coach.

Osborne said, “We kept talking about when it got tough offensively, we’ve got to get better defensively.” About his 200th win, he said, “The thing is, what we’ve built in our program is stability, and good kids. That’s what makes it worthwhile for us.”

Webster said, “It’s really awesome to do that for him, for all the hard work that he puts in every day and does for us. It’s really awesome to give it back.”

Sandidge was 10 for 12 shooting for 27 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals for UVa-Wise.

Kunzman said, “Whether it was knocking down the 3, getting to the rim or getting the stop on defense, she was getting it done on both ends of the floor. She worked her butt off tonight.”

Kestner said, “She actually killed us outside tonight, a lot, but we were definitely trying to keep her from penetrating. ... We definitely kept them out from inside and made them hit shots against us.”

Concord, which begins tournament play on Tuesday at Wheeling Jesuit, outscored their visitors 32-16 in the paint.

She said, “I think it was desire. I think we wanted to come out and win it for our senior and go into the tournament strong.”

Kunzman said, “We kind of think of this as our rival. They’re our closest game for us. We hope to continue to have good games as we continue in this conference.”

Webster said the win “definitely gives us a little bit of momentum. We know we can do it. We know we’re good enough. ... We’re ready.”

—Contact Tom Bone at tbone@bdtonline.com

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