Williams Women Beat HLG in Tourney Opener
The Lady Eagles from Williams Baptist College beat the Lady Trojans from Hannibal-LaGrange University in the American Midwest Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday evening. The final score was 59-54 in front of a lively crowd at the Southerland-Mabee Center.
Williams used the crowd to get off to a sizzling start, making five of their first six shots to open a 10-3 advantage five minutes into the contest. The Lady Eagles chilled from there and HLGU went on a 22-to-11 run to the end the first half with a 25-21 lead.
"We shot really well for the first four or five minutes. I believe the crowd played an integral role in that. But after the initial run we couldn't get the ball to go through," said Head Coach Carol Halford.
The game would change in the second half when the Lady Eagles went to a full court press. A 15-to-3 spurt midway through the second half gave WBC the lead for good. They would extend the lead as high as 10 before HLGU came back late, getting within two with a couple minutes remaining.
However, the Lady Eagles made their free throws down the stretch and held the Lady Trojans late to advance to the next round.
"We went into a press to start the second half and it turned out to be really effective, caused them to force a lot of shots. It changed the flow of the game." said Halford.
Sharonda Brabson led Williams with 14 points. She also collected eight rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Cheyenne Childers scored eight points with nine rebounds.
As has been the case all season, the Lady Eagles held a rebound advantage. They crashed the boards to a plus seven advantage overall and plus six on the offensive end. The Williams bench outscored the Trojans bench 21-to-11. WBC was able to take advantage inside, outscoring HLGU inside the paint.
WBC's record improves to 17-14 on the season and for the second straight year they qualify for the AMC semifinals. The Lady Eagles will play the AMC regular season champion Cougars from Columbia College. The game will be played in Columbia, Mo., on Friday, at 7 p.m.
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