Covenant Women Edge LaGrange 56-54

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Surging at the end of the season, the Covenant women's basketball team won for the third time in four games on Saturday with a 56-54 victory over LaGrange on Senior Day inside Barnes Physical Education Center.

Kiaira Cooper gave the Scots the two-point lead at 56-54 with 29 seconds left in the second half after a steal by Morgan Woodward. LaGrange had a chance to tie on its next possession, but Caroline Brashier missed two free throws and then Madison Barker missed a jumper as time wound down.

Although Covenant finishes with an 8-17 overall record and 4-12 in league play, the Scots played well down the stretch. This week alone the Scots posted victories over USA South foes Huntingdon and now LaGrange.

Aleigha Williams led Covenant with 16 points and Alexis Storteboom had six points and a game-high 13 rebounds. 

Before the game, seniors Cooper and Jessie Blankenship were honored for their careers. Cooper finished with four points, none bigger than the final two, and Blankenship tallied nine points and five rebounds in her final game. Blankenship wraps up her illustrious career with 1,362 points, 13th all-time in program history, and 797 rebounds, which is fourth most in the program.

Covenant got off to a slow start as LaGrange built a 7-0 lead in the first three-and-a-half minutes of play. But then the Scots pulled off one of the best scoring spurts all season long. From the 16:39 mark of the first half until 43 seconds remained in the period, Covenant outscored the visiting Panthers 26-4 as they pulled ahead 26-11. 

Defense was a big reason why the Scots went on such a run. LaGrange turned the ball over 16 times in the opening 20 minutes and the Scots registered eight steals. Going into halftime, Covenant held a 26-14 lead.

LaGrange responded in the second half as they quickly cut into the deficit, but Covenant stayed right with the Panthers. Woodward tied the score at 54 with a free throw with 50 seconds left. On the ensuing LaGrange possession, Woodward picked up a steal, bolted down the floor and then found Cooper with a perfect bounce pass that led to the game-winning layup.

Alex Wilson led LaGrange (14-10, 8-7 USA South) with 16 points and Brashier added 11 points. Shaye Butler recorded nine points and nine rebounds in the loss.

Woodward had eight points, five rebounds and six assists for Covenant. Rachel Price and Haley Soles accounted for six and five points, respectively, off the bench. Covenant shot 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field and 13-of-18 from the free throw line.

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