A lack of execution. Those were the words used by Concord Lady Lions basketball coach Kenny Osborne to describe his team’s play following the Lady Lions 65-61 loss to the University of Charleston Golden Eagles, Thursday night at the Carter Center.
CU had its chances in both the first and second halves. Charleston jumped to a 5-0 lead before Rachel Artrip’s two free throws with 16:17 to play put the home team on top 8-7.
The contest stayed tough as Concord’s man defense put pressure on Charleston.
The Lady Lions lead grew when Artrip banked in a three from the top of the key and Andrea Bertrand scored a baseline turnaround jumper.
Charleston came back and took the lead and forged ahead by six, 25-19 on a bucket by DeJanique Reddix with four minutes to play before halftime. However, once again the Lady Lions charged and a three by Jacqueline Kestner made it a two point game.
In the final two minutes of the half Charleston managed to build a five point lead and was on top 33-28 at the break.
Bertrand was key for Concord on the offensive end of the court in the first 20 minutes as she scored 15 of the team’s 28 points. Both Kestner and Artrip tallied five and Sammi Webster added three. The UC bench outscored Concord 14-0.
In the second half Concord fought back and grabbed a two-point lead which they held at the first media timeout with 14:34 left in the game before Charleston took control and raced out to a nine point advantage, 51-42.
The final minute of the game saw the Lady Lions make their final charge. Sissy Wagner’s three made it a five point game. After forcing a turnover, Wagner scored another bucket to make it a three-point game with 57.4 seconds left.
Three points, however, would be as close as Concord would get as Charleston finished out the game at the free throw line.
“We didn’t execute, we didn’t rebound, Charleston did. That’s part of the game,” Osborne said.
“You’ve got to give them credit, they made plays and that was the difference in the game.”
Bertrand led all scorers with 25 points and had six rebounds. Webster finished with 11 points. Wagner had seven points and six assists.
Charleston won the rebounding battle 40-24 and the UC bench outscored Concord’s reserves 22-0.
“We’ve got to find some people to come off the bench and help us and second, we have to learn to rebound and be tougher mentally and physically,” Osborne said.
“We get down on ourselves and then want to suck it in. That’s this team. When things are going good we’re as good as anybody. If it goes bad, we’re not very good. We’ll get better, or I’ll get balder.”
Charleston’s scoring column was topped by Chyress Lockhart, the only Golden Eagle to score in double digits. Kiara Johnson pulled down nine rebounds and Kali Cuttaia blocked three shots.
With the win Charleston moved to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in Mountain East play. Concord fell to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the MEC.
The Lady Lions will play Fairmont State, Saturday afternoon in Logan.