CENTRAL, S.C. – Sophomore forward Nigeria Davis (Newberry, S.C.) posted a game-high 23 points to go along with 9 rebounds to help the Converse basketball team collect a pivotal conference road win at Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday evening inside Tysinger Gymnasium. After leading by as many as 13 in the second half, Converse withstood a furious rally by the Warriors to hold on for its second Conference Carolinas win of the season.
Score: Southern Wesleyan 65, Converse 70
Records: Southern Wesleyan (7-14, 2-11 CC), Converse (8-10, 2-10 CC)
Location: Tysinger Gymnasium
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Dominique Hill (Elgin, S.C.) scored a season-high 14 points to go along with four assists and three rebounds.
- Bhrianna Jackson (Baltimore, Md.) contributed her best game in a Valkyrie uniform, finishing with 11 points and three assists.
- Southern Wesleyan held a 38-31 edge on the boards.
- The Valkyries shot 43.1% (25-58) from the floor, including eight makes from beyond the arc.
- Converse forced 22 Warriors turnovers, scoring 21 points off of those.
- The Valkyries left 13 points on the floor, going 12-of-25 from the charity stripe.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Davis showed her strength on the glass during the Valkyries first offensive possession, grabbing two rebounds and finally putting the ball through the basket to give Converse the early 2-0 lead.
However, Southern Wesleyan used a 15-4 run over the next six minutes of game action to push ahead of the Vals, 15-6. Ashley Sides (Gaffney, S.C.) knocked down a much-needed corner three to put a stop to the run. Lisana Burnett connected on a driving layup for the Warriors to give SWU a 17-9 advantage after one.
Four quick points by the Warriors pushed the margin out to its biggest of the contest (21-9) before a deep three from Sides and back-to-back threes from Hill (Elgin, S.C.) fueled a massive 13-0 run by the Purple and Gold, giving Converse the 22-21 lead with four minutes to play in the first half.
After SWU cashed in a layup, Ellen Nardella (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) knocked down her first three of the game to give Converse its biggest lead of the half, 27-23.However, the Warriors used a 7-0 run over the remaining two minutes to head into the locker room with a 30-27 lead.
An old-fashioned three-point play by SWU's Emily Waters initiated the scoring in the second half, extending the Warriors lead to 33-27. Davis came right back with two quick buckets to inch the Valkyries closer.
Burnett knocked down a three from the wing for SWU, but Converse countered with seven in a row, capped by a hoop-and-harm from Davis to reestablish a 38-36 lead just before the third quarter media timeout. From that point the two teams caught fire offensively, trading baskets to the tune of 12 points. SWU raced ahead and took a single point lead (47-46) into the final period.
Hill pushed Converse back ahead to start the fourth, draining a three from the left wing, sparking a crucial 18-4 run to start the last 10 minutes. During the stretch the Valkyries turned the heat up on defense, forcing seven turnovers by the Warriors, while capitalizing on those miscues with a potent fast-break attack.
Southern Wesleyan did not go quietly, cutting the deficit all the way down to two points (67-65) with half a minute remaining, but it was too little, too late as the Valkyries knocked down just enough free throws to seal the 70-65 win.
After entering the fourth quarter trailing 47-46, Converse scored 18 of the first 22 points to take a controlling 64-51 advantage.
Converse will continue its road swing, traveling to Banner Elk, N.C. to take on the Bobcats of Lees-McRae on Saturday, February 2. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.