by Cory Guinn
GAFFNEY, S.C. – The 2016-17 season came to an end for the Barton women's basketball team on Thursday night as the Lady Bulldogs suffered an 83-61 loss to No. 22 Limestone College in the Conference Carolinas Tournament Semifinals.
Barton, the tournament's No. 4 seed, ends the season with an 18-12 overall record, while the top-seeded Saints improved to 27-3 with the win and advance to face No. 2 seed King University in the finals.
Limestone's defense limited Barton to just 34.8 percent shooting in the game and forced BC into 15 turnovers, scoring 24 points off of the miscues. The Saints committed just 10 turnovers in the game and shot 46 percent from the field, including making 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) of their attempts from 3-point range.
The Lady Bulldogs never led in the contest as Limestone opened the first quarter on a 14-4 run over the first 5:39 of play. The lead grew to a 26-8 advantage as the opening period came to a close and the Saints held a 14-point edge at intermission.
Junior Karimah Dean opened the second half with a made jumper, followed by a 3-pointer from fellow junior Alex Kimble to cut the deficit to single digits. Each team went without a basket for more than two and a half minutes before trading 3-pointers with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter.
A 13-0 run put Limestone safely ahead as the Saints extended their lead to a 29-point margin with 2:58 to play to secure the win.
Limestone's Jasmine Kearse, who was named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year for the second straight season, led all scorers with 25 points as the Saints' starting five account for 67 of the team's 83 total points.
Sophomore Kianna Wynn, an All-Conference First Team selection, led Barton with 12 points and 14 rebounds for her 20th double-double of the season, while Dean registered a double-double of her own with 10 points and 10 rebounds.