Dec. 12, 2012 — Last Tuesday in Grayson, the KCU Lady Knights (5-8) found what they had been looking for…a big win.
A tightly played matchup saw Head Coach Ron Arnett and his team pulled out a hard fought victory over NAIA opponent Alice Lloyd College, 83-73, avenging an earlier blowout victory at the hands of the Lady Eagles.
Arnett gave credit to Alice Lloyd’s effort in the first matchup.
“They played great basketball, and had a very balanced and aggressive attack that first game,” Arnett said. “We received a very valuable lesson that night. We have been seeing progress though.”
While the Lady Knights have been struggling to find their identity, progress was indeed made Tuesday night as the team from Pippa Passes rolled into the Dick Damron Hall of Champions.
From the outset, it was obvious that this KCU team had no intentions of a similar outcome to the first meeting between these two rivals from Eastern Kentucky.
After a furious first half, the Lady Knights pulled out to a 39-26 lead as sophomore Katelyn Meyer hit a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
"What a boost that was for us going into the locker room.” Arnett said.
Unfortunately, it also aroused the opponents, and they came out for a second half of controlled mayhem.
Two free throws by Ariel Nickell, KIAC Player of The Year 2012, brought ALC within 2 at 57-55. When Nickell scored again, 15 seconds later, the game was tied and ALC was on a roll. Hayley Smith scored her only point and Nickell scored again to put ALC ahead 58-55, their largest lead of the game.
Junior point guard Tanya Bowens then scored five straight on her way to a team-high 27 points to put KCU back in the lead at 62-60. Nickell again tied the score before junior Jessica Marshall hit a three and junior post player Monica Stevens scored inside to regain the lead at 67-62 with 5:07 left regulation.
The last five minutes saw tremendous end-to-end action, as the Lady Knights pulled away to pick up the 83-73 win.
Bowens led KCU with 27 points and 10 assists and Nickell had 29 to lead ALC with sophomore Carla Booth contributing 25.