Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 26, 2013

BSC, Concord fall in tournament's opening round

Wire reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Bluefield State Lady Blues fell short by a single point of advancing past the first round of the West Virginia Conference tournament on Monday night, ending their season with a 62-61 loss to the Shepherd Rams.

The Lady Blues (13-13) erased a 19-point second half deficit to take a two-point lead on Charlene Diggs’ field goal with five seconds left, to only watch as Shepherd’s Rachel Johnson sank a three-pointer with two seconds remaining for the winning basket.

Shepherd (14-13) led 34-21 at halftime and took their largest lead, 41-22, by opening the second half on a 7-1 spurt. Dragana Tomic put a temporarily halt to Shepherd’s spurt with an old-fashioned three point play.

Tasia Nolan’s layup set Bluefield State on a 16-6 run to pull the Lady Blues to within seven, 48-41.

Charity Harris highlighted the run as she had a hand in 13 of the 16 points in the comeback effort as she dished three assists on the initial three buckets of the run then followed that up by scoring the next seven points including a three-pointer.

Two free-throws from Jimyse Brown pushed Shepherd ahead nine, 50-41 but Nolan sunk another layup to pull BSC to within seven again 50-43 with 9:03 on the clock.

The offense stalled for both teams over the next two minutes until Shae Mebane drilled a jumper to cut BSC’s deficit to five. Mebane scored six straight points to bring BSC to within three, 57-54.

Priscilla Moseh hit two free throws to put Shepherd up five with 2:14 left, but Mebane’s offense and Tomic’s swarming on-the-ball defense gave the Rams fits. Mebane scored five consecutive points to tie the game at 59 with 34 seconds left and Tomic swiped two steals during that spurt to keep Shepherd from scoring.

Tomic’s defense came up clutch yet again as she had another steal with 22 ticks left on the clock which led to a Lady Blues timeout.

Harris attempted the game-winning layup with eight seconds left and missed the shot but Diggs’ putback gave BSC the lead with only five seconds left, 61-59. Then Johnson raced down the court and nailed a last-ditch three.

Mebane finished with a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds while Harris finished with 12 points and five assists. Tomic swiped five of the Lady Blues 13 steals to go along with eight points.

Gabby Flinchum led Shepherd and the game with 19 points. The Rams held a 45-39 edge on the boards.

*****

Seton Hill 78, Concord 65

GREENSBURG, Pa. — Stephanie Wagner fired in a season-high 21 points for the Lady Lions, whose season ended in the first round of the West Virginia Conference tournament.

Wagner was 7 for 10 from the field and made four of five three-point tries. Her two treys in less than a minute gave Concord (7-22) a short-lived 38-36 lead early in the second half, but Seton Hill (17-12) scored the next six points and did not trail again.

Concord forced 18 Seton Hill turnovers while making just nine of its own, but shot only 36 percent (25-for-69) from the field to Seton Hill’s 46 percent (23-for-50).

The Griffins were also awarded nearly twice as many free throws than Concord (32-18); SHU made 27 of its attempts to Concord’s nine. Seton Hill out-rebounded Concord 43-35.

Wagner, a sophomore, also had nine assists and two steals. Rachel Artrip added 14 points and four steals. Jacqueline Kestner collected her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Honorable mention All-WVIAC honoree Amanda Smith chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

The first half was a game of runs. Artrip scored four quick points and Wagner added two to give Concord a 6-0 lead before Seton Hill went on a 10-0 run. Concord cut into Seton Hill’s 28-17 lead and trailed by only four points at the break, 36-32.

Monday night was the final game for seniors Katy Somerville and Tanisha Williams.