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No. 15 Bearcats fall short in rally effort against Carson-Newman

No. 15 Bearcats fall short in rally effort against Carson-Newman

Aiken, S.C. – The No. 15-ranked Lander women's basketball team fell at the hands of Carson-Newman on Saturday by a score of 90-87. The Bearcats had an opportunity at the end of regulation to extend the game, but junior guard Christal Williams' 3-point shot attempt came up empty. Senior center Breshay Johnson led the Bearcats with 22 points and seven rebounds in the losing effort.

After Carson-Newman scored for the game's first points, the Bearcats responded with a flurry of offense from Williams and senior guard Mylea McKenith. McKenith scored or assisted in four of the team's first six scoring plays.

With the Bearcats leading by a score of 9-7, Eagles guard Mika Wester caught fire as the junior scored Carson-Newman's next seven points. Behind the hot shooting of Wester, the Eagles claimed a 15-13 advantage with 3:32 remaining in the quarter.

Lander struggled down the stretch of the first quarter as the Bearcats scored just two points in the closing three minutes. Carson-Newman led by a score of 24-15 after one quarter of action.

The Eagles continued their fine shooting in the second quarter as Wester and sophomore Kelci Marosites poured in two straight threes to give Carson-Newman a 33-21 advantage with 7:37 remaining.

For the next two minutes, the two teams struggled to find a basket with the score settled at 33-23 in favor of Carson-Newman. Junior guard Chelsea Mitchell finally ended the drought with a layup in the lane to cut the Eagles lead to eight with 5:26 remaining.

The Bearcats started to find their touch in the closing minutes of the second half. Williams and sophomore Alexius High combined for two 3-pointers and Johnson recorded six points to cut the Carson-Newman lead to 48-41 at the end of the first half.

Both teams battled evenly throughout the third quarter and the Eagles held a 10-point lead with less than five minutes remaining. A Victoria Baldwin 3-pointer and a basket from Johnson cut the lead to five points and Chelsea Mitchell's bucket at the 3:43 mark pulled the Bearcats within a basket. Lander would eventually trim the deficit to one point with 38 seconds remaining, but a foul and a pair of free throws from Wester sealed the victory for Carson-Newman. 

Lander makes its home debut next Saturday as the Bearcats face Limestone at 1:30 p.m. in Finis Horne Arena.