by Doug Page
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Barton College women's basketball team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with an 87-80 victory on Tuesday against Shaw University. The Lady Bulldogs won their fourth consecutive game after surviving multiple second-half rallies by the Bears.
The Lady Bulldogs (7-5) shot just 43.5 percent from the floor in the contest but went 22-of-32 at the free-throw line to make up for a cold-shooting third quarter. Shaw (3-10) struggled to get it offense going early in the second quarter but responded by finishing the quarter shooting 61.1 percent from the floor. The Bears out-scored BC 18-15 in the third quarter, however, they would fall just short despite hitting a trio of three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
BC was paced offensively by junior Kianna Wynn, who recorded a game-high 25 points and 13 rebounds. Wynn went 9-of-16 from the floor and 7-for-9 at the charity stripe. Redshirt senior Alex Kimble connected on four of BC's five three-pointers in the contest, tallying 22 points to go along with six rebounds. Junior Dinah Neal scored 18 points and a team-high three steals for Barton. Neal also went 10-of-17 at the free-throw line and 4-of-8 from the field. Freshman Shanika Peterkin added four points, nine rebounds, and four blocks for the Lady Bulldogs.
The Bears were led by LaQuisha Taylor, who notched 22 points off the bench. Taylor connected on 9-of-21 shots from the field and went 3-of-8 from downtown. Tahniya Sweat tallied 12 points for Shaw while adding six rebounds and a game-high seven assists. Lervencia Johnson-Tyler recorded 15 points on the night to go along with nine rebounds, two steals, and a game-high five blocks. Aliyah Cooley added 14 points for Shaw.
Barton opened the contest on a 6-2 run following a fast-break layup from Kimble with 6:44 remaining in the quarter. Shaw quickly answered by draining a three as Emily Davis pulled her team within a point just 44 seconds later. The Bears would keep things close on the scoreboard and eventually knot things at 9-9 with 4:27 left after a Klintisha Martin jumper. Barton redshirt senior Karimah Dean gave her squad the lead back for good down the stretch as converted a layup to make it 11-9. Wynn recorded the final bucket of the quarter with a tip-in off a missed three by Kimble.
Leading 21-15 to start the second quarter, Barton quickly opened its lead to 31-17 after riding a 10-0 run that was sparked by six-straight points from Neal over a minute span. Martin would end the Shaw shooting slump with a layup to trim the deficit to 31-19 after the Bears went 3:03 without a bucket. BC stretched the lead to 15 (36-21) following a three-point play from redshirt junior Alonna Terrell. Johnson-Tyler delivered a layup for Shaw with 3:12 left in the quarter to pull the Bears within nine points of BC, sparking a rally that would eventually cut the deficit to just six points. Sweat would make it a 39-33 contest with 1:48 remaining in the half, only to see Barton and senior Tatyana Jackson answer with a trey to put the Lady Bulldogs back up by nine. Shaw ended the quarter on a 4-0 run to trim the Barton lead to 44-37 heading into halftime.
The Bears used another 4-0 run, this time to start the third quarter to trim the BC lead to 44-41. A tip-in from Terrell gave BC a 53-47 lead with just over four minutes left until Shaw rallied to close the gap on the scoreboard to 54-53. With 1:21 left in the quarter, Cooley gave Shaw its first lead of the game as her jumper made it 55-54. BC didn't let the quick change in momentum get to them, ending the quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 59-55 lead into the final 10-minutes of action.
Wynn gave BC an 11-point lead with 3:46 left in the fourth quarter as the Lady Bulldogs looked to put their final touches on the contest. Barton held onto its double-digit advantage until Shaw rallied to trim the score to 83-78 with 22 seconds left. Neal scored each of the final four points for BC to secure the 87-80 victory.
Barton out-rebounded Shaw 45-39 in the contest, while Shaw went just 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. Shaw tallied nine blocks in the game, while Barton recorded four. Both teams committed 18 turnovers, while BC notched nine steals compared to seven for the Bears. Personal fouls finished in favor of Barton as the Lady Bulldogs were called for just 12, while Shaw recorded 23.
The Lady Bulldogs return home on Fri. Jan. 5 as they host Conference Carolinas foe Lees-McRae College at 5:30 p.m. inside Wilson Gym.