Saturday, January 18, 2014

MISENHEIMER, N.C. -  Despite having three players in double figures, the Pfeiffer University women's basketball team (2-13 overall, 1-6 Conference Carolinas) dropped a heartbreaking conference matchup to Erskine (10-5 overall, 5-2 Conference Carolinas) Saturday night, 80-78.  The Falcons had convincing control of the contest for more than 27 minutes and shot almost 43% from the field, but in the end they would fall just short.

In a frenetic display of effort and determination, the Falcons entered the matchup with a clear game plan; control the tempo and impose their will on both sides of the ball.  That game plan, executed to near perfection, made for what would be an exciting Conference Carolinas basketball matchup, down to the last tick of the game clock.

Erskine jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the first three and a half minutes, appearing un-phased by the Falcons' attempt to control the contest on both sides of the ball.  Pfeiffer stuck with their game plan however, determined to stay the course.  Over the next 7:43, the Falcons would go on a 22-6 run and amass their largest lead of the game at 15.  The run, sparked by two made free throws from freshman Ariana Tillman and a Carter Williams' three-pointer, appeared to have tipped the scales in Pfeiffer's favor.  The Flying Fleet responded with a 26-10 run of their own, and took a one-point lead into halftime.

The Falcons came out of the locker with a renewed sense of vigor, and following a layup by junior Lauren White, took control of a lead that would last almost 11 minutes.  Leading by ten at one point in the second frame, Pfeiffer appeared to be headed for a victory.  The Flying Fleet, led by four players in double-figure scoring, apparently had other plans.  With 1:27 left, a three-pointer by Ashley Mull would put Erskine ahead for the remainder of the contest.

The Falcons were led by Tillman who finished the contest with 17 points.  Tillman was joined in the double-figure scoring column by Williams who put up 16 points, and junior Caressa Samuel who contributed 13.  Erskine was led by Andrienne Bannerman who had the game's only double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, as well as Raygon Hendrix who led all players with 25 points.

Pfeiffer returns to action on January 21st when they travel to Wilson, N.C. to take on Barton College.  Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 pm.