Harrison’s 29 Can’t Overcome Free Throw Disparity at Belhaven

JACKSON, Miss. – The Louisiana College women’s basketball team got a career night from sophomore forward Alex Harrison, but her heroics weren’t enough to overcome a 20-point Belhaven advantage at the charity stripe to drop the game to the Blazers 82-75 Thursday night at the Charles R. Rugg Arena at Heidelburg Gymnasium.

Belhaven started fast, scoring the game’s first five points only to see LC respond with six straight to take their first lead of the contest. The remainder of the first period was the two teams swapping buckets and the lead with the Lady ‘Cats largest lead of the period coming with just about 3:00 left as Alex Harrison hit a three to make it 15-11, only to be matches a few possessions later as a Jameica James three bumped the lead to 18-14 with 1:40 to go in the period. LC led 20-17 when the buzzer sounded after a Belhaven player scored in the wrong basket just prior to the end of the period.

The Lady ‘Cats threatened to pull away at the start of the second quarter as a Maya Washington long ball and a Miya McKinney lay-up pushed the LC advantage out to eight points with 7:40 to go in the period at 25-17. The lead hit double figures for the only time in the contest with just more than three minutes left before halftime as an Alexis Lege lay-up gave the Lady ‘Cats a 36-26 lead. Belhaven immediately answered that with an 8-0 run to cut the LC lead to two before the Lady ‘Cats scored the final three points in the quarter to take a 39-34 lead into the halftime locker room.

Alexis Lege got the scoring started in the third quarter to bump the LC lead back up to seven points, 41-34. However, a 12-3 Belhaven run put the Blazers back ahead 46-44, and then the issues with fouls started to creep up. LC used an 11-4 run, with the help of some free throws, to retake a five-point lead at 55-50 on a lay-up by Maya Washington with 2:30 left in the period. After a quick exchange of buckets, Belhaven finished the period on a 6-0 run, four of those points coming at the charity stripe, to give the Blazers a 58-57 lead heading to the final period.

The fourth quarter was a tight, back-and-forth affair as the lead swapped hands eight times in the final ten minutes with four ties, and neither team leading by more than one possession until Belhaven completed an old fashioned three-point play with 31 seconds remaining that gave the Blazers a 79-75 lead. LC missed a shot on their ensuing possession and Belhaven closed out the game at the free throw line.

Alex Harrison scored a career high 29 points in the contest with four of her eight made shots in the contest coming from long range. She also grabbed nine rebounds, blocked a shot, and had a steal. Maya Washington was four-of-nine from the field, including a made three, to finish with 11 points. Tremeeka Spikes made five of her six attempts on the evening and finished with ten points.

LC made five more shots overall than Belhaven, 28 to 23, and three more three-point shots than the Blazers, 6-3. Where Belhaven won the game was the free throw line, where Belhaven was 33-of-40 from the charity stripe while the Lady ‘Cats were just 13-of-19 in the same category.

The Lady Wildcats (3-4, 2-4 ASC) head into the final week of the season sitting in the final spot for a berth in the American Southwest Conference Tournament, looking for two home wins to secure a spot in it. The first of those two games is next Thursday, March 4th as LC welcomes LeTourneau to Pineville. Tip-off against the Yellow Jackets (10-4, 6-3 ASC) is set for 5:30 P.M. at H.O. West Fieldhouse.