FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Converse College basketball team concluded the 2019 McKinley Bank North Star Invitational with an 81-63 loss to Chadron St. on Saturday evening.
Score: Converse 63, Chadron St 81
Records: Converse (1-8), Chadron St. (2-7)
Location: Alaska Airlines Court, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Junior guard Ashley Sides led the Valkyries with 13 points after knocking down three shots from deep.
- Freshman guard Lindsey Hardin had her most productive game for Converse, chipping in 10 points.
- Ellen Nardella scored nine points, while Bhrianna Jackson and Lindsey Rogers pitched in seven each. Jackson narrowly missed a triple-double, adding seven assists and seven rebounds on the evening.
- Converse shot 21-of-63 (33.3%) from the floor, including knocking down eight shots from downtown.
- Chadron St. pulled down 43 rebounds to Converse's 38.
- The Valkyries had season-low nine turnovers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Nardella knocked down a three-pointer at the 8:49 mark of the opening quarter, giving Converse the 3-0 lead. Chadron St. came storming back with five in a row to claim its first lead of the game, 5-3. Sides tallied a three and Shakori Jennings-Shuler posted two points from the charity stripe to push the Purple and Gold back ahead 10-8 midway through the first.
However, the Eagles bounced right back with seven in a row to establish a 15-10 advantage. That lead grew to 24-16 at the end of one.
Chadron St. continued to balloon its lead, ripping off a run of 10-2 to open the second, racing in front 34-18. After the two teams traded several baskets, CSU tallied the final six points of the half to take a 45-26 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles opened the second half with seven-of-nine, building a comfortable 52-28 lead with 7:17 on the clock. However, Rogers knocked down two in a row from the free throw line, sparking a massive 15-0 run for Converse, closing the gap to single digits (52-43) with a little over two minutes remaining in the third.
Chadron St. outscored Converse 7-4 down the stretch, taking a 59-47 lead into the final frame. Converse was able to outscore the Eagles 21-14 in the third.
Five straight to start the fourth cushioned the lead for CSU back to 17 (64-47) before a Hardin layup put Converse on the board in the quarter. However, eight of the next 13 points belonged to Chadron St., giving the Eagles a 72-52 lead.
Converse had one last effort in it, using an 11-2 burst to trim the deficit to 74-63 with just over two minutes left in regulation. Unfortunately, that was as close as the score would get with Chadron St. taking the final seven points, capturing the 81-63 win.
NOTE: Upon completion of the tournament, Alexis McMillian was named to the All-Tournament Team. The sophomore guard averaged seven points, six rebounds, and one assist over the three-game tournament.
Converse will return to the friendly confines of the Weisiger Center, playing host to Mount Olive on Tuesday, December 3. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.