It was a long 28 days, but the Crowley’s Ridge College Lady Pioneers took the court for the first time since November 14th, falling to the Pensacola Christian (Fla.) Lady Eagles 77-73.
The Lady Pioneers (1-3) and the Lady Eagles had seven different ties and seven different lead changes before the guests pulled away late to take the win.
PCC (5-2) laid their cards on the table early showing a barrage of 3pt FGs that connected. Both teams had trouble finding the bucket, going on two different three-minute dry spells before the Lady Eagles took the first quarter 14-11.
The second quarter was the Octavia Lowery show, who exploded with 17 of her 19 points in Q2. A Travia Woodruff 3-pointer would give the Lady ‘Neers a 39-36 lead, before a jumper from the Lady Eagles sent the ladies to intermission with CRC ahead by one point 39-38.
During the break, it seems the locker-room talk for the Lady Eagles was “Stop Lowery.” Lowery did not score in the second half, and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. In the meantime, PCC senior Lauran Alvarez scored 10 of her 20 points in the penultimate quarter, taking a 58-50 lead to the final 10 minutes.
Picking up the slack, freshmen Mickayla Smith hit a pair of three-pointers and Kianna Hardway posted up in the final quarter to pull the Lady Pioneers within two, but the Lady Eagles hit their free-throws when it mattered and took the 77-73 victory.
Despite not scoring in the last 20 minutes of play, Lowery led the Lady Pioneers with 19 points. Mickayla Smith helped with 12 points, and Kianna Hardaway recorded 10.
Crowley’s Ridge had two players end their night with double-doubles. Nakeeva Brandon recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds. Meanwhile, Travia Woodruff had 12 points coupled with 12 assists – tying the single-game record for Crowley’s Ridge.
The reigning A.I.I. Player of the Week Woodruff said of balancing shooting and passing, “The decision is not hard at all, especially when I look to pass first anyways.” the Nettleton High School alumna continued, “It’s easy finding my teammates open when multiple people are on me so of course, somebody has to be open.”
Woodruff hopes to continue her aggressive play, saying “With a depleted lineup, I’m being more aggressive on the offensive end than I was before.
The Lady Pioneers go from a 28-day break between games to a three-day break. CRC travels to Health Sciences and Pharmacy (Mo.) to face the Eutectics today at 5:30 p.m.