Going down to Georgia: Lady Bulldogs bring down Limestone in Conference Carolinas quarterfinals

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The Barton College women’s basketball team’s 3-point shooting and rebounding carried the Lady Bulldogs to victory in the Conference Carolinas quarterfinals Monday night in Wilson Gym, as Barton recorded a 82-72 victory over Limestone.

The No. 2 seed in the tournament and winners of 10 straight, the Lady Bulldogs (24-4) shot 10 for 23 from the 3-point line while pulling down 40 rebounds. Sixteen of those were of the offensive variety. Five of Barton’s 3-pointers came in the first quarter. In comparison, the No. 7 seed Saints (13-15) shot 4 for 12 from 3-point range and grabbed 34 rebounds. The Saints had nine offensive rebounds.

“Us making those outside shots, I think we got a little bit too comfortable taking outside shots after that,” veteran Barton head coach Wendee Saintsing said.

A 14-point lead for the Lady Bulldogs heading into the second quarter evaporated to three behind a 7-0 run from Limestone in the last four minutes — emotionally buoyed by on a technical foul on Limestone’s Taylour Hunter. But in the waning seconds of the quarter, junior Summer Baer, who had nine points, hit her second buzzer beater of the half.

The defense in the second half was much improved, as Barton held the Lady Saints to 12-for-31 shooting from the floor and 0 for 5 from the 3-point line, compared to 15 for 27 and 4 for 7 from 3-point range in the first half. 

“In the second quarter, they scored 24 points because we were letting them get to the basket way too easy,” Saintsing said. “They scored six layups in a matter of minutes because we didn’t sit down and play defense. We got to play defense for 40 minutes and it gets tougher from here.”

Sophomore Shanika Peterkin came alive in the second half with 11 points and eight rebounds. Peterkin posted a double-double, finishing with 14 points and a team-high 12 rebounds — she was one of four Lady Bulldogs to finish in double figures. Senior Kianna Wynn also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Dinah Neal led the team in scoring with 16 points. Freshman Alexa Roberson added 13 points. Hunter had the game-high for the Lady Saints with 19.

The reigning conference tournament champions from last season, the Lady Bulldogs will travel to top seed Emmanuel College (22-6) in Franklin Springs, Georgia to play No. 3 seed Belmont Abbey (20-9) in the semifinals Thursday. Three of Barton’s four losses came against Belmont Abbey and Emmanuel. However, the Lady Bulldogs beat the Lady Crusaders in their last matchup on Feb. 6, 64-58. 

“We’re just as good as anybody there,” Saintsing said. “We finished tied for first with Emmanuel and we had them up 16 and 19 and both times we ended up losing. We got to figure it out. We got to do the things that it takes to play winning basketball from here on out.”