SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Sophomore shooting guard Ashley Sides poured in a career high 21 points, including five shots from downtown to lead the Converse (2-0) basketball team to a convincing 97-42 win over Regent University (0-2) on Friday evening inside Hannah Gymnasium.
Shakori Jennings-Shuler made a huge impact off the bench as she tallied 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Alexis McMillian and Nigeria Davis also hit the double-digit plateau, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively. Davis also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Bhrianna Jackson was a catalyst for an offense that shot a season-high 51.2%, dishing out a career-high 10 assists.
Converse wasted no time establishing a lead as it scored the first 11 points of the contest. Jocelyn Reyes finally put the Royals on the board with a deep three, which ignited a 9-4 mini run for Regent. However, Sides was just beginning her night knocking down back-to-back threes to end the first quarter, giving the Vals a 23-13 advantage after one.
That lead quickly grew to 45-15 following a 22-2 run to begin the second session, capped off by a beautiful layup from Jennings-Shuler with 2:47 remaining before halftime. Regent made a push before the intermission, running off 10-of-16 to close the gap to 51-25.
The Valkyries really poured it on in the third quarter, outscoring the Royals 26-10, including a 17-5 burst that took just over four minutes of game action. A Sides jumper with ticks left on the clock sent the Purple and Gold into the fourth quarter with a 77-35 lead.
With much of the bench playing the fourth quarter, Converse never let up in its domination over Regent. Jennings-Shuler posted a layup with 1:12 left on the clock to push the Vals to their biggest lead of the contest (97-42), which would also be the final score of the night.
Converse absolutely dominated in every part of the contest, putting up 60 points in the paint compared to the Royals' 10. The Valkyries also held a 53-24 advantage on the boards, while also scoring 49 points off 37 Regent turnovers. Converse's bench outscored Regent by a whopping 55-0 in the blowout win.
Reyes led the Royals with 17 points, while Chelsee Thompson contributed 14. Regent shot a miserable 31.8% from the field (14-44), including only 4-for-15 from three.
The Valkyries will return to action tomorrow afternoon, hosting Piedmont International on the concluding day of the Courtyard Classic. The Bruins dropped a 71-61 decision to Southern Wesleyan prior to the Valkyries matchup with Regent. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 3 p.m.