Berea, KY- On the heels of learning they were selected as the #2 seed in the 2017 USCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament, taking place February 28th-March 4th in Uniontown, PA, the Mountaineers returned to the floor for their regular season finale. Berea, winners of their last 13 games in a row, faced the University of the Cumberlands Patriots on the Roland Wierwille, looking to move their winning streak to 14.
Back-to-back three-point baskets from Kristen Barnes and Bri Lanham ended a 5-0 run by the Patriots to open the game and gave the Mountaineers a 6-5 advantage as 5:43 ticked on the clock. Trailing 12-10, Lanham hit another three-point jumper which gave Berea the lead back, making the score 13-12. A free throw from Nakeisha Greene gave the Mountaineers a 14-12 lead as the first quarter ended.
A 10-2 run to begin the second quarter by Cumberlands pushed the visitors ahead by six, 22-16. Berea fell behind by double digits before a Barnes layup brought them back to within single digits, moving the score to 29-20. Dreadful shooting by the Mountaineers in the quarter allowed the Patriots to lead 37-22 as the buzzer for halftime sounded.
Two of the first three baskets were scored by Berea to make the score 39-26, but as the ball continued to not fall into the hoop for the Mountaineers, Cumberlands used an 11-1 scoring rally to make the score 50-27. The last five points of the third quarter were scored by Jaime Roberts' three-point basket and free throws from Kiley Barnard, making the score 50-32 as the teams headed to the final stanza.
Poor shooting continued to plague Berea in the fourth quarter but the team stayed aggressive, as they shot ten free throws in the quarter, making nine of them. The 13-game winning streak the Mountaineers were riding came to an end as the Patriots went on to win the game 62-43.
Lanham and Barnes led the team in scoring, finishing with 12 each. Lanham also finished with a team-high eight rebound and three steals. Barnard led the team with three assists. The team shot 20.4 percent from the field for the game but shot 17-20 from the charity stripe for 85%.
#2 Berea returns to the court when they travel to Uniontown, PA to open 2017 USCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament on Wednesday, March 1st. The team begins the march to a USCAA National Championship against the number seven seeded Dean College. Tipoff is slated for 1:00 PM. You can find live stats, live video and all the information, including the brackets for the tournament, at http://basketball.theuscaa.com/landing/index.