SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Senior Abigail Lewis (Savannah, Ga.) poured in season-highs of 24 points and nine rebounds to help the Converse basketball team snap a six-game skid on Saturday afternoon against Bluefield St. Nigeria Davis (Newberry, S.C.) tallied her fourth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points to go with 11 boards, in the winning effort.
Score: Bluefield St. 42, Converse 70
Records: Bluefield St. (2-4), Converse (6-7)
Location: Weisiger Center/Hannah Gymnasium
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Sophomore guard Bhrianna Jackson (Baltimore, Md.) finished the game with five assists
- All but one player for the Valkyries tallied at least one point during the 28-point blowout.
- After early season struggles from the free-throw line, Converse knocked down 18-of-23 for 78.3%
- The Valkyries collected a season-high 20 steals, while forcing 31 turnovers by the Big Blues
- Converse dominated BSC in the paint by a total of 48-10
- The Valkyries were able to grab 17 offensive rebounds, which led to 18 second-chance points
HOW IT HAPPENED
Alexis Tucker got the scoring started, opening up the contest with a three-pointer from the right wing to stake the visitors to an early lead. However, a McMillian layup sparked a 7-0 run by the Vals three minutes into the opening period.
That advantage grew to eight points (13-5) at the 4:14 mark after Jackson found Lewis on a beautiful pass in the lane for a layup. An 8-3 spurt by the Big Blues over the final minutes of the first, capped off by a jumper from Elizabeth Doughty closed the margin to 16-13 heading into the second period.
Ellen Nardella (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) put her name in the scoring column as she opened the second quarter with a three, followed by three consecutive layups, giving Converse its biggest lead of the half, 25-13, with 5:57 remaining before the half.
It looked as though the Purple and Gold had seized control of all momentum and would build a hefty halftime lead, but Bluefield St. continued to play hard, exchanging basket-for-basket with the Vals. An old-fashioned three-point play by Holly Toler capped off a sluggish first half for both teams, sending the Valkyries into the locker room leading 29-19.
Bluefield St. cut the lead to eight (31-23) two minutes into the second half following a pair of free throws and a made jumper. However, Converse responded with a brutal 16-0 run, spanning seven minutes of game action, to give the Vals their biggest lead of the contest, 47-23.
The Big Blues chipped away at the lead to start the final stanza, cutting the lead down to 15 (50-35) with 7:11 left on the clock, but the Vals quickly pushed the lead back to 21 following a pair of jumpers by Jackson and one from Davis.
BSC would cut the deficit to under 20 (59-40) at the 2:40 mark, but a crucial 11-2 run over the game's final three minutes gave Converse the dominate 70-42 victory.
After Bluefield St. cut the lead to 31-23 to start he second half, Converse used a 16-0 run to gain complete control of the contest.
The Valkyries will return to the hardwood on Wednesday, January 16, traveling to Belmont, N.C. to face the Crusaders of Belmont Abbey College. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.