TIGERVILLE, S.C. – The Converse (5-9, 1-5 CC) basketball team fell to North Greenville (3-9, 2-4 CC) by the final of 77-73 on Friday evening inside Hayes Gymnasium. The contest was closely contested throughout its entirety as the score was tied on seven occasions and the lead changed hands 11 times.
Brianna James led the Valkyries with a team-high 24 points and nine rebounds, including 4-for-7 from downtown, while Abigail Lewis chipped in 18 points, matching a season-high. Ashley Sides also eclipsed double-digits, turning in 14 points to go along with her seven boards. Karen Donehew led all scorers with a game-high 31 points. No other Crusader was able to reach double-figures.
Converse shot 33.8% (25-74) for the contest, including 8-of-24 from the three-point line. The Valkyries knocked down 15 of their 20 shots from the charity stripe. North Greenville finished the game with a shooting percentage of 36.1, but shot 12 more free throws than the visiting Valkyries. NGU held a 50-44 advantage on the boards.
Brianna Hill knocked down a jumper in the paint to open the game and Converse quickly jumped out to an 8-0 lead three minutes into the opening frame. However, North Greenville went on a 17-8 spurt over the next seven minutes of game time to take its first lead of the game (17-16). James knocked down a deuce and one from behind the arc to give the Vals a 21-19 lead after one.
The second quarter belonged to NGU as it opened the session with a 14-5 run, taking control of the contest, 33-26. A Sides triple closed the deficit to a single possession (33-31), but once again the Crusaders took control, finishing the first half on a strong 7-3 mini run.
North Greenville took its biggest lead of the game (45-36) following a three ball from Donehew at the 9:09 mark of the third quarter. This time it was Converse's turn to go on a run. The Vals knotted the game at 46-all after a 10-1 spurt, capped off by a layup by Lewis with 4:28 remaining in the third period. Eight of the next 10 points were scored by the home team, but Converse closed the frame with the last four points, sending the game into the final stanza trailing by two (54-52).
The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair as the score was tied three times and changed hands six occasions. Sides knocked down her second three of the game at the 5:14 mark of the fourth to give Converse its first lead since it was 21-19 at the end of the first quarter. Lewis knocked down a jumper in the paint to extend the Vals lead to 68-65, but NGU used a 5-2 burst to tie the game at 70-all and went on to score seven of the game's final 10 points to send Converse to its fifth-consecutive loss, 77-73.
The Valkyries will make the quick turnaround as they travel to Central, S.C. tomorrow afternoon to take on the Warriors of Southern Wesleyan University. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.