By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Charlene Digs fired in 21 points and sank five three point baskets, and Charity Harris added 20 on four treys, to lead the Bluefield State College Lady Blues to a 68-56 WVIAC win over Alderson-Broaddus, Tuesday night at Ned Shott Gymnasium. The victory extended the Lady Blues win streak to four games.
The play began fast and furious between the two teams. AB drew first blood before two threes by Harris put BSC ahead 6-2. After ties at six and eight, the Lady Blues (5-2, 3-2) hit a dry spell during which the Battlers (2-4, 1-3) went on a 10-0 run. State went more than five minutes without a bucket until Diggs canned a trey with 11:00 to play in the half.
AB went on another run, taking its lead to 15 points as the Lady Blues went on another scoring drought of more than seven minutes. Shae Mebane’s basket underneath broke the run.
Diggs drilled another three with 90 seconds to go before half to bring the Lady Blues to within nine, but Erica Brooks’ three just before the buzzer gave Alderson-Broaddus a 32-20 halftime lead.
“We shot probably the worst percentage that we shot all year long, but it was because we were taking shots that weren’t in our offense,” said BSC head coach J.J. Oliver. “We kind of settled on having a shooting exhibition instead of running the offense and if that ball doesn’t go in the post, our shooters don’t get the open looks, we don’t get any inside action.”
BSC shot a paltry 24 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes and were out-rebounded 26-10. The Lady Blues had five steals and forced 11 Battler turnovers.
A new Bluefield State team emerged from the locker room to open the second half. The Lady Blues took control on both ends of the court, going to a 1-3-1 zone defense and scoring points in transition. A 14-0 run capped by Mebane’s putback five minutes into the second half put the Lady Blues back into the lead.
The teams exchanged the lead for several minutes before Diggs made three-of-four free throws after she was fouled and AB assessed a technical to give State a 42-41 advantage it did not relinquish. Shay Gravely’s basket in the paint gave the Lady Blues a 10-point lead and with five minutes left BSC’s lead grew to 15.
The first half we came out lackadaisical. We didn’t do a god job busting our tails and getting through screens and gave them wide open shots,” Oliver said. “We want our mantra to be we play defense, and we didn’t do a good job doing that in the first half. The second half we went to a 1-3-1 zone. We were able to matchup up better with their shooters and they weren’t able to get the penetration that they were getting in the first half.”
After being out-rebounded in the first half, State out-rebounded AB 31-17 in the second 20 minutes of action. Kelli Morgan came off the bench and had a team-high six boards and Mebane had five. Dragana Tomic, Harris, Diggs, Gravely and Jenaya Abernathy had four rebounds apiece.
Sydney Shaffer led AB with 12 points and Leah Hurst had 10 boards.
Bluefield State is idle until Jan. 2 when it plays at Virginia University of Lynchburg.