NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Asbury University took control of the game just before halftime and never gave it back, although the outcome was far from certain in the closing seconds against longtime rival Alice Lloyd College in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament on Monday, Feb. 25. Down one, Alice Lloyd failed to convert within the closing seconds as Asbury prevailed 74-73 in the KIAC Tournament semifinals.
Alice Lloyd took control early as the opposing Eagles could not make a shot. Asbury, however, kept battling back and eventually took the lead at 34-33 with just 43 seconds left in the first half as Paintsville High School graduate Laura Carroll hit a jumper. The Eagles from Asbury never gave up the lead again.
Trenia Barbee led Asbury with 20 points (14 in the second half) and shot eight-of-17 from the floor. Barbee also led the squad with five assists. Alice Lloyd’s duo of Ariel Nickell and Carla Booth combined for 50 points and 25 rebounds. Booth lofted a runner in the final five seconds that missed and allowed the Eagles to secure the rebound and the game.
Lakin Griffith recorded her fifth double-double of the season and the 29th of her career. Carroll added 16 points, three assists and two steals. Asbury scored 20 points off the bench, led by Dorian Downs and Ellie Steiner from long range. Both players scored all of their points from beyond the arc and connected on five of the team’s six three-pointers in the game. Downs made three and Steiner made two, both in the first half to keep the game close.
Asbury shot 46-percent for the game including 50-percent in the second half. Alice Lloyd shot 41-percent in both halves. ALC dominated on the glass, pulling down 49 rebounds to Asbury’s 32. Alice Lloyd was only able to turn 16 offensive rebounds into 13 second chance points while Asbury was more efficient, using seven rebounds to score 11 second chance points.
For ALC (18-11), Nickell, a junior forward, produced another double-double, finishing with 27 points and 17 rebounds. Booth, a sophomore guard who starred at Sheldon Clark High School and played for Eastern Kentucky University as a freshman, delivered 23 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for the Alice Lloyd women’s basketball team in the season-ending loss.
Asbury advanced to play in the KIAC Tournament Championship for the second straight year.