Lady Cougar Basketball Game Recap
Lady Cougars Open NCCAA Tournament with
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
WINONA LAKE, Ind. (3-14-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University women's
basketball team shook off the rust of an
11-day layoff between games and found a way
to pull off a first round upset in the
National Christian College Athletic
Association National Tournament despite
shooting just 28.6 percent from the field
and committing 19 turnovers as the Lady
Cougars knocked off No. 3 seed Bluefield
(Va.) College 48-45 on Wednesday afternoon
at Grace (Ind.) College.
(18-13), which is the No. 6 seed in the
eight-team tournament, jumped out to a 14-4
lead over the first 12 minutes of the game
as senior forward Alexis Harkins
(left) scored six
points and junior forward Emily Steveley
added five points including what would be
the team's only 3-pointer of the game with
9:41 left before halftime.
Rams (21-11) rallied to pull within one
point on two occasions including 18-17, but
a pair of free throws by senior guard Sierra
Fletcher gave the Lady Cougars a 20-17
cushion as the teams went to their locker
rooms at the break.
MVNU with 10 first-half points, while
Steveley added five points off the bench.
The Lady Cougars shot just 21.4 percent from
the field (6-for-28), 10 percent from
3-point range (1-for-10), and 77.8 percent
from the free throw line (7-for-9). They
also posted a 20-14 rebounding advantage.
Kia Gilliard led Bluefield with six
first-half points, while Takieya Rouse added
four points. The Lady Rams shot 25 percent
from the field (6-for-24), missed all five
of their 3-point attempts, and went 5-for-8
from the charity stripe (62.5 percent).
A basket by sophomore post Amy Daniels
to start the second half extended MVNU's
lead to 22-17, and the Lady Cougars still
led 33-29 after a pair of free throws by
Fletcher with 10:36 left in the game.
However, Bluefield used an 8-0 run over
the next two and a half minutes to take its
first lead of the game at 37-33 with 8:07
still on the clock. Janee Simmons made two
baskets during the comeback, while Rouse and
Teqa McNeal each added a basket.
game went back and forth over the next five
minutes with two ties and two lead changes
as the Lady Rams clung to a 39-38 lead with
just over three minutes to play.
Then, MVNU rattled off six straight points
to take a 44-39 lead with 1:26 to go as
senior post Whitney Levering made a pair of
baskets and Harkins added two points of her
A 4-for-4 showing at the free
throw line down the stretch by Fletcher
helped seal the victory for the Lady Cougars
despite a layup at the buzzer by McNeal that
pulled Bluefield within 48-45 as MVNU
advanced to the semifinals on Thursday.
Harkins finished with a double-double of
14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady
Cougars, while Fletcher added 10 points with
all of them coming from the free throw line
where she was 10-for-14. Daniels tallied
nine points and Steveley contributed seven
points and eight rebounds. MVNU shot 28.6
percent from the field (16-for-56), 7.7
percent from 3-point range (1-for-13), and
71.4 percent from the free throw line
McNeal was the lone
member of the Lady Rams to reach double
figures as she finished with 11 points,
while Gilliard added nine points. Bluefield
shot 28.8 percent from the field
(17-for-59), 13.3 percent from 3-point range
(2-for-15), and 56.3 percent from the free
throw line (9-for-16).
Cougars will now advance to face No. 2 seed
Cedarville University in the semifinals on
Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The Lady Jackets
(23-7) posted a 69-60 victory over No. 7
seed Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) College in
their first round game.
other semifinal will pit a pair of upset
winners as No. 8 seed Colorado Christian
University (16-15) will take on No. 5 seed
and host Grace (19-14) at 5:15 p.m. Colorado
Christian shocked No. 1 seed California
Baptist University 67-56, while Grace downed
No. 4 Emmanuel (Ga.) College 58-49.