SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Converse College basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 57-56 loss to North Greenville on Saturday afternoon inside the Weisiger Center. Alexis McMillian knocked down a pair of free throws with seven seconds remaining to give Converse a 56-54 lead, but Haylee Luttrell nailed a three on the Crusaders next possession to give NGU the slimmest of wins.
Score: North Greenville 57, Converse 56
Records: North Greenville (4-4, 3-2 CC), Converse (1-11, 0-3 CC)
Location: Hannah Gymnasium, Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Lindsey Hardin poured in a game-high 15 points, while Alliee Pattillo scored nine off the bench for the Valkyries.
- McMillian hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with six points.
- Converse shot a season-best 92.3% (12-13) from the free throw line.
- The Valkyries were 18-of-53 from the floor (34%).
- Savannah Hughes and Peace Okeke led North Greenville with 11 points each.
HOW IT HAPPENED
North Greenville came out of the gates strong, collecting the game's first five points. Ellen Nardella cut that lead to a single point after knocking down four consecutive shots from the charity stripe before an Ashley Sides three pointer gave Converse its first lead (7-5) with 3:44 remaining on the clock.
The score was knotted at 9-9 with under a minute to play, but Kathleen Rogers drilled a shot from deep to give NGU the 12-9 lead after one.
The Crusaders opened the second quarter with a run of 15-4, building a comfortable 27-13 lead late in the frame. However, Hardin went on a personal 9-0 run of her own, draining two threes while also collecting an old-fashioned three-point play, pulling the Valkyries to within 27-22 at the break.
Once again North Greenville was the aggressor to start the period, regaining the momentum after pushing its lead back out to 12 (39-27) with just over five minutes removed from the playing clock. Dominique Hill netted a layup to bring the Vals to within 41-33, but the Crusaders extended back to a double-digit lead after a jumper by Karen Donehew.
Pattillo was able to connect on back-to-back threes just before the end of the third, sending the Purple and Gold to the fourth trailing by only four (43-39).
After North Greenville ran the score to 50-42, Converse made one final push, collecting baskets from a variety of players, eventually pulling even at 54-all with 25 seconds remaining on the clock in regulation. NGU's Okeke missed a layup and McMillian was fouled on the rebound attempt, setting up the two clutch free throws.
Converse will return to action on Tuesday, December 17 as it plays host to the Saints of Limestone College. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside the Weisiger Center.
Tuesday's game will be the UGLY Christmas Sweater Game. Anyone who wears an ugly sweater to the game will receive free admission. The ugliest of all sweaters will be chosen and judged at halftime for a chance to win one of two $100 Bojangles gift cards.