By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
The Bluefield College Lady Rams announced their presence in the Mid-South Conference with authority, knocking off the No. 6 ranked Georgetown Tigers 83-73 in the conference opener for both teams, Thursday night at the Dome Gymnasium.
Teqa McNeal fired in 32 points including six treys, Ashley White added 26 as the Lady Rams came from 13 down in the first half to claim the win. In the preseason poll of coaches, Bluefield was picked to finish last in the Mid South Conference. With the win the Lady Rams are now 5-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
“For us to play with the No. 6 team in the nation is a test for us to see where we’re at,” said Bluefield head coach M.J. Baker. “We just played like who we are, which is tough and quick.”
Down big midway through the first half, BC used the three-ball to climb back.
“At first we were really nervous,” Baker said. “We’ve got some young people on the team and I think we were just nervous. We just came out, going through the motions, almost giving them the right to be No. 6 in the nation.”
The final three minutes of the half saw the Lady Rams take the lead on Monique Robson’s baseline jumper. Georgetown’s Kourtney Tyra tied the game at 39 with under a minute to play only to see BC’s Megan Tennant hit one-of-two free throws with four seconds on the clock to give Bluefield a 40-39 halftime lead.
The bench was key for BC in the first half as Rams reserved outscored the Georgetown bench 8-1. Bluefield also out-rebounded the taller Tigers 23-17 in the first 20 minutes of action.
Georgetown opened the second half on a 5-0 run, but Bluefield retook the lead when Janee Simmons completed a three point play. For several minutes the lead went back and forth until the Lady Rams got up by three midway through the second half and never looked back.
Playing fundamentally sound basketball, Bluefield’s lead grew as high as 15 before Georgetown closed the gap in the final minutes.
In addition to McNeal’s 32 and White’s 26, Simmons added 13 along with a game-high 12 rebounds. Celinda Arrington dished out six assists and McNeal had six steals. Bluefield out-rebounded the Tigers 45-33.
“Teqa was All-American honorable mention,” Baker pointed out. “She’s a kid, hands down that’s consistent. The three-point shots, she added them to her game through work this summer. Last year she wasn’t as consistent in her three point shot and this year, to see her knock them down like that is really good for us.
“Ashley, we call ‘Penny’ and Penny is tough. She’s what makes us go. Teqa brings consistency and substance, but Penny is our energy and that’s a good point guard.”
Linday Fultz led Georgetown with 19 points., Tyra added 16 and Lizza Jonas 13.
The Lady Rams return to the court Saturday afternoon, hosting St. Catharine in a MSC game. Tipoff is set for 2 o’clock.
— Contact Bob Redd at email@example.com