Lady Rams earn 6th place at NCCAA Championships despite 65-50 loss to Emmanuel
McNeal's 26 points not enough for Lady Rams in the loss
Sports Information Department BC
March 18, 2012
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Department
Winona Lake, Ind.- The Lady Rams struggled shooting in the second half against Emmanuel College resulting in a 65-50 loss in the consolation bracket final on Friday evening in the NCCAA National Championship at Grace College.
The two teams were fighting for the 5th place spot in the nation as both teams sat at 1-1 entering the Friday night contest.
After getting down quickly to Emmanuel at 6-0 to start, the Lady Rams rattled off eight straight points to take their only lead of the game at 8-6.
In fact, the Rams did a great job to play tough defense despite their inability to shoot the ball effectively throughout the game. It wasn't necessarily the case for the entire team. Bluefield's sophomore point-leader, Teqa McNeal, single handedly kept the Lady Rams in the contest.
The Lady Rams were able to battle back and forth with Emmanuel and they had the score tied on four different occasions in the first half. By the 10:00 minute mark, McNeal had all 13 points for her team when it was all square at 13-13.
Only down two baskets late in the first half, Bluefield had two chances under :30 seconds to close the gap even smaller but they couldn't finish on either attempt. Nonetheless, BC went into the half down 29-25.
Bluefield still stayed in firing distance throughout the second half primarily due to an increase in production by Senior Kia Gillard. With five minutes to play, Gillard hit a pair of free throws to make it a 50-44 lead for Emmanuel and only trail six again after being down as much as 11.
Emmanuel did a fine job inside eliminating the post play of Janee Simmons who had a very nice opening two games at the tournament. Simmons didn't get her first points until the 3:30 mark left in the game. Still down seven, Gillard and McNeal tried to keep Bluefield in the game. Gilard had 13 of her 16 points in the second half.
Bluefield's poor FG shooting (22%) in the second half played a huge factor in their ability to make it a tight effot late in the game. Out of reach with two minutes to play, BC put Emmanuel on the FT line to gain a few extra opportunities at the rim. EC made free-throws late and put the contest out of reach for the Lady Rams.
The 65-50 loss ends the Lady Rams historic season for the women's basketball program. The 22 wins was the most wins in program history in the past eight seasons in Coach Baker's first season at Bluefield. This was the final game for seniors- Rouse, Gillard, Washington and Darling.
McNeal led the way with a game-high 26 points on the night, while Gillard added 16. The two players combined for 83% of the team's offensive production.
The Lady Rams earn 6th place at the NCCAA National Championship as a result of their 1-2 record at the tournament.
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