SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Senior forward Abigail Lewis tallied 20 points to go with nine rebounds, while Nigeria Davis recorded her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Converse basketball team to its first-ever 3-0 start with a 77-62 win over Piedmont International on Saturday afternoon at the Weisiger Center.
Jordan Brooks contributed 12 points and Ashley Sides recorded her second-straight double-digit (10) performance to pace the Valkyries. Alexis McMillian grabbed eight boards and Dominique Hill dished out six assists while cleaning up the ball seven times off the glass.
Piedmont International came out strong in the game's opening minutes, jumping out to a 9-3 lead with 7:11 on the first quarter clock. However, six consecutive points by the Vals knotted the contest at 9-all. A Lewis layup with 3:19 remaining gave Converse its first lead (13-12), but the Bruins battled back to tie the game at 17-17 after one.
The second frame was a back-and-forth affair as the game was tied twice while the lead changed hands on five occasions. With the score reading 25-24 in favor of the visitors, Converse used a pivotal 9-2 burst to close out the half and head to the locker room with a slim six-point (33-27) lead.
The Bruins kept things relatively close in the third session as they answered each basket put in by the Vals. However, the Purple and Gold took a 44-40 advantage and turned it into a 51-42 spread after outscoring PIU 7-2 over the final 2:29 of the third period.
Converse turned it on in the fourth quarter, quickly running the score to double-digits following a Sides deep three from the right wing followed by a lay-in by Lewis after a magnificent assist by Bhrianna Jackson. A make from the charity stripe by McMillian gave Converse its biggest lead of the contest (66-44) with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.
Piedmont International ripped off 9-of-10 points to narrow the gap to 67-53, but Tee Ballard and Avery Curry quickly turned the game back around with back-to-back baskets. Curry's shot from downtown sent the Valkyries bench into sheer excitement. From that point it was all academic as Converse finished the game off with a final score of 77-62.
The Valkyries once again owned the boards, collecting a 51-43 advantage over PIU on the glass. Points in the paint proved to be a huge difference in the game as Converse tallied 42 points in the painted area.
Converse will return to the hardwood on Saturday, November 24 as it travels to take on Bluefield State. Tip-off for that contest is set for 2 p.m.