Johnson becomes Lander's all-time leading scorer in big win over Hurricanes

Johnson becomes Lander's all-time leading scorer in big win over Hurricanes

GREENWOOD – Breshay Johnson became the Lander women's basketball all-time leading scorer while teammates Chelsea Mitchell and Tabitha Dailey posted double-doubles as the Bearcats breezed to a 94-53 Peach Belt Conference victory over Georgia Southwestern Monday night at Horne Arena.

Lander improved to 19-5 overall and remains in second place in the Peach Belt at 14-4, trailing only North Georgia in the standings. The Bearcats have a makeup game versus Young Harris Thursday night at home.

The Hurricanes fell to 7-15, 4-14.

Lander has posted at least 80 points in six consecutive games.

"Anyone who was here on Saturday knows what a big, emotional win that was for us over Columbus State," said head coach Kevin Pederson, "and for us to come out tonight and get a 41-point win is a credit to our players. We can't worry about who we're playing, we have to play to our potential if we want to get to where we want to go."

Mitchell, the reigning Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week, led all players in the game with 19 points and 14 boards, 11 on the defensive end of the floor.

Johnson was the Bearcats' second-leading scorer on the night with 17 points, making six of nine shots.

"It was such an honor to be able to break the record," said Johnson. "We came out in this game and focused on doing the little things right and were able to get the job done."

Dailey added 13 points and 13 rebounds for Lander. Ariana Sanders also scored 13 points while Jessica Harris flirted with a double-double, scoring 12 points while leading the Bearcats with nine assists and also grabbing six boards.

Mitchell and Dailey paced Lander with five steals apiece. Christal Williams added five assists for the hosts.

Shanya Jones led Georgia Southwestern with 15 points, Mariya Trimble added 13 points, Tamecia Blue contributed nine points while Amanda Melosky paced the visitors with eight rebounds.

The Bearcats outrebounded Georgia Southwestern 52-38, including 30 rebounds in the first half.

Johnson needed four points Monday to surpass Shannon McKever as Lander's all-time leading scorer. After not scoring in the opening quarter, the 5-foot-9 senior center took care of the record in the second while also moving into eighth place on the PBC's career scoring list. The Peach Belt record is 2,217 points.

Johnson made two free throws with 5:24 left in the first half to pull within a point of McKever. About a minute later, Georgia Southwestern's Kya Cochran missed a 3-point attempt to the left of the rim and Bearcats guard Harris grabbed the long rebound near the free-throw line.

Harris drove up the court with a 3-on-1 break as Johnson was racing toward the rim and Sanders to her right. Harris passed ahead to Johnson for the uncontested layup, giving the senior 1,745 career points. She finished the night at 1,758. The basket with 4:22 left in the second quarter gave Lander a 39-22 lead.

Dailey scored twice as the Bearcats jumped out to an 8-0 lead and Mitchell made one of two free throws, giving them their first double-digit advantage at 13-3 with 4:39 left in the opening quarter.

The first of Alexius High's two 3-pointers upped Lander's lead to 20-11 going into the second period.

Blue's bucket pulled the Hurricanes back within single digits at 28-20 at the 6:20 mark. But the Bearcats went on a 9-0 run including a Sanders 3 and Johnson's first two points of the game from the line for a 37-20 advantage at 5:24.

Lander was comfortably ahead 47-26 at the break.

Sanders hit a 3 from the right side, staking the Bearcats to a 50-26 advantage in the opening minute of the second half.

Lander doubled up Georgia Southwestern 60-30 with 3:54 left in the third when Mitchell grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled up the floor and hit Johnson for a transition layup.

The Bearcats maintained their 30-point lead at 66-36 going into the final quarter.

Destinee Langford's offensive rebound and put-back upped Lander's advantage to 80-44 with 5:25 to go.

Lea Petit came off the bench and hit a bank shot, giving the Bearcats a 40-point lead at 90-50 with 2:19 left.