Lady Barons sweep Tip-Off Classic foes; Oliver named MVP
By Terry Gaston
MT. VERNON -- Brewton-Parker College senior Tameka Oliver proved in the Lady Barons' first two games just how dominant of a basketball player she can be - even if her numbers drastically differed from the first night to the next.
Oliver earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Brewton-Parker Tip-Off Classic in the Lady Barons' first two games in the Student Activities Center.
In the season opener Friday night, Oliver led the Lady Barons with 27 points -- 23 in the first half - in fueling Brewton-Parker's 97-53 triumph over Morris College (S.C.).
That performance earned the respect of the Lady Warriors from Webber International University (Fla.), who keyed on Oliver defensively but watched several other Lady Barons step up to complete their classic sweep with a 73-65 victory.
Oliver, a 6-foot-2 forward from Savannah, was held scoreless until 3:38 remained in the game when she scored to give Brewton-Parker a 68-61 lead that Webber cut to just five twice the rest of the game.
Oliver finished with just five points, but freshman guard Ashley Little was 7-for-16 on 3-point shots in scoring a game-high 24 points and senior guard Takara Solomon followed with 19 points with her second straight perfect night at the free-throw line (9-for-9).
Little and Solomon joined Oliver as all-classic selections.
Oliver had a team-high nine rebounds while senior guard Lucinda Lessington made nine assists.
The Lady Barons offset 31.9 percent shooting (22-for-69, including just 10 of 38 treys) with 19 of 25 free throws (76 percent) and just seven turnovers.
"This game was good because we got challenged," said Brewton-Parker coach Tommy Dalley, whose team led 35-31 at halftime and by as many as nine (50-41) in the second half before Webber climbed to within two at 60-58.
"We had some players really step up and help us win under difficult circumstances. They played a box-and-one defense on Tameka Oliver, and that just showed how great of a player she is, for them to respect her as our main cog in our offense and that she is the one people will have to stop.
"I think she did a great job of not losing her composure because she was being hooked in there. Her being guarded allowed our other players to have open looks."
Senior forward Coleitha Banks led Webber with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Brandy Lovelady earned all-classic honors after scoring 17 points. The Lady Warriors out-rebounded BPC 40-34 while shooting 43.8 percent from the floor and 77.8 percent on free throws.
On Friday, the Lady Barons were 54.2 percent (32-for-59) accurate on their shots, including 6-for-16 from 3-point range, and hit 79.4 percent of their free throws (27 of 34).
Brewton-Parker hit 58.8 percent of its first-half shots (20-for-34) in taking a 54-24 halftime lead after leading by as many as 32. The Lady Barons' largest lead was 47 (89-42) with 4:50 remaining.
"I don't care who you're playing, when you shoot the ball like that you're going to beat some people," Dalley said.
Oliver was 8-for-11 from the floor, perfect on nine free throws while snagging a team-high nine rebounds, and making three steals, sharing that team-high honor with junior guard Toya Rogers.
"She exploded, and she probably only played 20 minutes total," Dalley said of Oliver, who was 2-for-3 from 3-point range. Little was 3-for-7 (5-for-10 overall) on 3s on her way to scoring 15 points.
Solomon continued the Lady Barons' sizzling run at the free-throw line by hitting all six of her free shots in scoring 12 points. Junior guard Melody Walker added 10 points with one 3-pointer and 4-for-7 shooting overall.
The Lady Barons played Allen University at home Monday night and will travel to Allen in Columbia, S.C., next Tuesday in the first of five games away from home before they return to the Student Activities Center on Dec. 3 to play Voorhees College (S.C.).
Women's Basketball Action
Brewton-Parker College senior forward Tameka Oliver fires a short-range shot over two Morris College (S.C.) defenders on her way to scoring a game-high 27 points in the Lady Barons' 97-53, season-opening victory in the Brewton-Parker Tip-Off Classic at the Student Activities Center in Mount Vernon. Oliver earned Most Valuable Player honors of the classic. (Photo by Terry Gaston)