Lady Barons fall short in battle of ranked teams

Although his Brewton-Parker College women's basketball team came out on the short end of a 57-53 count Thursday night in a battle of NAIA nationally ranked squads, Lady Barons coach Tommy Dalley said he could take heart in the fact that his team kept Auburn University-Montgomery at bay.

"It is comforting to know that we didn't play our best game and only lost by four," said Dalley, whose 23rd-ranked team lost at the Student Activities Center for the first time in eight games after shooting 36.4 percent from the floor in each half of the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference game.

"We are going to battle with a lot of freshmen and they have a lot of transfers, so maybe we can learn from that experience," Dalley added.

No. 17 ranked Auburn-Montgomery shot slightly better at 37.7 percent but turned its 27-23 halftime lead into a 39-32 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.

Brewton-Parker (13-4 overall, 3-1 GACC) responded with a 6-0 run and then tied the score at 49-all on senior guard Takara Solomon's score with 8:48 remaining.

Despite making just two baskets afterward, the Lady Barons were still in the game until AUM senior forward Jackie Tate hit a 3-point shot with 38.5 seconds left and the shot clock nearing zero.

Tate's basket gave her 15 points, a game-high honor she shared with Brewton-Parker freshman guard Ashley Little, and the Lady Senators the final scoring margin at 57-53.

Senior forward Tameka Oliver followed Little with 13 points and freshman guard Trivia Richardson added 11, while junior guard Toya Rogers had team highs of eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Tate also had four blocks for AUM (11-6, 3-0), while junior guard-forward Amanda Tolbert had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The Lady Barons will be off until their Thursday, Jan. 23, game at Waleska against Reinhardt College, which Dalley said could be a dangerous game despite the Lady Eagles' 4-13 record (1-1 GACC) through Thursday.

"It's a tough place to play, we lost up there two years ago, and we can't look past them," said Dalley, whose team will then travel to Dahlonega on Saturday, Jan. 25, to face No. 11 ranked North Georgia College and State University.

"We have to set our sights on one team at a time, and then we will worry about the showdown in Dahlonega."

The Lady Barons' next home game, and their only home contest in the next five, is Monday, Jan. 27, against Emmanuel College at 6 p.m. in the Student Activities Center.