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No. 10 Lady Barons keep perfect record intact
After beginning last week by gaining Brewton-Parker College's
highest ever NAIA Division I women's basketball rating,
the Lady Barons proved their worthiness of their No.
10 ranking Saturday by rallying to defeat No. 14 Lee
University 76-71 in overtime at Cleveland, Tenn.
The Lady Barons' Southern States Athletic Conference victory
broke a tie between the early co-leaders and lifted Brewton-Parker
(3-0 SSAC) to 12-0 overall.
Lee (9-3, 2-1) held a 38-32 halftime lead before Brewton-Parker
junior guard Dannisha Winfrey broke out of a foul-plagued,
first-half lull and scored 19 of her team-high 21 points
Sophomore forward Brandi Kea of Statesboro aided in the
second-half rally by scoring eight points in the final
five minutes, which ended with a 65-all deadlock to force
overtime. A Lee field goal attempt came up short to end
With Winfrey and junior guard-forward Tamika Drinks lost
to the Lady Barons in overtime thanks to fouls, junior
guard Ashley Little answered the call with two huge 3-point
baskets and 3 of 4 free throws to lead Brewton-Parker's
11-6 OT rally. Little finished with 19 points.
While Lee had a 43-31 advantage in rebounds, the Lady
Barons forced 33 Lady Flames turnovers, 20 on steals. Winfrey
had five thefts and junior guard Trivia Richardson of Dublin
(East Laurens) made four picks to go with her 14-point
"We only had four people step up in scoring, but
everybody played great defensively," said Brewton-Parker
head coach Sheila Simmons, adding that the Lady Barons
really did not feel any pressure to maintain their unbeaten
ways with Reinhardt College visiting BPC on Monday for
the first-semester finale.
"We are just taking
it game-by-game. We are just concentrating on one game
at a time and not focusing on
any big picture."
In a story on Lee's Web site, first-year Lady Flames coach
Marty Rowe was complimentary of Brewton-Parker's performance.
"We probably will not face another team like that
again this season," Rowe said. "But it is early
and we will continue to work hard and get better."
Stacy Felchner paced Lee's scoring with 17 points, while
Lindsey Sparks followed with a double-double of 11 points
and 13 rebounds.
* * *
Victories over two top-10 ranked teams in one week's time
proved to be worth some reward for the Lady Barons, who
on Dec. 7 received an unprecedented No. 10 rating in the
first regular-season NAIA Division I women's basketball
The Lady Barons, who missed a Top 25 preseason ranking
by four spots, leaped all the way into the top 10 thanks
to its 11-0 start that included the two wins over the preseason
No. 6 and 10 teams.
"We have been consistent on offense, but the way
we have played defense every night shows that we have stepped
up a level when it comes to expectations," Simmons
The ranking is the first for a Brewton-Parker team with
an unbeaten record and surpasses the No. 15 rating the
2000-01 Lady Barons received in February 2001, the first
year the program qualified for the NAIA I National Tournament
and the first of four consecutive seasons with at least
That season was also the last during which Brewton-Parker
defeated Auburn University Montgomery, a drought the Lady
Barons ended Dec. 2 with a convincing 75-60 win at home
in Gillis Gymnasium. The Lady Senators, who were ranked
No. 10 in the preseason ratings, fell to 17th with their
second early-season loss.
Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.), which the Lady Barons
defeated in a classic at North Georgia College and State
University, actually rose one spot to No. 5 from the preseason
"Our success and ranking is a tribute to the consistency
of our team captains, both on and off the floor," Simmons
said. "Crystal McNeil (senior forward from Pensacola,
Fla.), Tamika Drinks (junior guard-forward from Mount Vernon)
and Trivia Richardson (junior guard from Dublin) offer
more than just having additional leadership. Then with
Ashley Little (junior guard from Lawrenceville), there
are four who are key to maintaining our attitude.
We're not even halfway through the season," said
Simmons, whose team finished the fall semester Monday
night with a home game against SSAC foe Reinhardt College
in Gillis Gymnasium. "It's great for recognition
of what we have done so far, but we can't look ahead
"We are excited about this team and its unique personality," said
Dr. David R. Smith, Brewton-Parker's president. "We
look forward to seeing them develop as good players and
even better people over the coming season."