by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College women's basketball team will be looking for its second straight Conference Carolinas victory and a season sweep of Lees-McRae College as the Lady Bulldogs host the Bobcats at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in Wilson. Barton will then host the Tornado of King University on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in an attempt to even the score after an early-season loss.
Barton College vs Lees-McRae College
The Lady Bulldogs (7-10, 6-4) have won five of their last seven contests, including a 69-47 victory over Lees-McRae on January 3 in Banner Elk, N.C. With its recent streak of success, Barton has moved into fifth place in the conference standings.
Barton held a sizeable 38-14 advantage with points in the paint, while pulling down 53 rebounds and scoring 22 points off of 24 Bobcats turnovers. The Lady Bulldogs never trailed in the contest.
Senior forward Brianna Thomas led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points and seven rebounds, as fellow senior Kaila Lea recorded 14 points and five rebounds of her own. Sophomore Tiffany Webster followed close behind with 13 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Shatisha Dukes notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
For the season, Lea is the team's leading scorer with 12.8 points per game, as Webster is the only other member of the team to average double figures at 10 points. Thomas and freshman Alexis Johnson each average 9.9 points, while Thomas leads the team and ranks ninth in conference in rebounds with 7.4 per game.
As a team, the Lady Bulldogs average 65.8 points per game, having scored 75 points or more in three of their last five contests. Barton ranks fourth in defense, allowing 64.1 points per game, while ranking third in turnovers forced with 21.7.
The Bobcats (5-12, 4-7) have a 3-7 record in their last 10 games, including a 3-5 record in conference play.
Senior guard Kabrina Truesdale recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the early season loss to Barton. Junior Mikayla Bennett was the only other Bobcats in double figures, finishing with 10 points in 15 minutes off the bench.
For the season, sophomore Niroska Perez leads the team with 13.5 point per game, while Truesdale is close behind with 13.4 points and a league-high 5.9 assists per game. Four different Bobcats average over 10 points per game for a team that has scored over 70 points in its last three games.
As a team, Lees-McRae averages 61.7 points per game, while the Bobcats defense allows 71.5 points per game, and leads the conference with 11.2 steals per game.
Barton College vs King University
The Lady Bulldogs and Tornado last matched up with one another on Jan. 4 in Bristol, Tenn., with King earning a 66-54 victory on its home floor.
For Barton, Lea totaled 18 points in 28 minutes off of the bench, while Thomas was the only other Lady Bulldog in double figures with 13 points and team-high seven rebounds. Barton struggled on offense, shooting 32.3 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from three-point range.
Senior guard Chelsea Bowling scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 7-of-9 from long range. Redshirt-freshman center Amy Van Deventer recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Whitney Mitchell scored 13 points of her own. King out-rebounded Barton 46-38 in the game, and an 8-for-14 performance from three-point range played a large part in the win.
The Tornado (13-4, 8-3) have won nine straight games and have risen to second place in the conference standings.
For the season, Bowling leads the team with 10.2 points per game and ranks atop the conference in three-point shooting, making 46.5 percent of her shots from long range. Senior forward Bonnie Durrett averages 8.9 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game, while fellow senior Tia Keitt also averages 8.9 points with a team-high 3 assists per game.
As a team, King averages 62.4 points per game, while the Tornado defense ranks second in the league allowing 55.5 points per contest.