Kimble’s career Senior Day sparks Lady Bulldogs past SWU, 83-62

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With a dream-come-true Senior Day, Alex Kimble, a redshirt senior from Virginia Beach, Virginia, triggered the Barton College women’s basketball team to a rousing 83-62 NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas conquest of Southern Wesleyan University on Saturday afternoon before a small turnout in Wilson Gymnasium.

Kimble, Barton’s leading scorer at 18 points per game, scorched the nets for a career-high 37 points, draining 12 of 19 shots from the floor and 6 of 7 free throws. She was also deadly from behind the 3-point arc, going 7 for 11.

She launched herself in the midst of the 17-0 tear to open the second half that turned the contest into a rout.

Barton, which started the day just one game behind co-leaders Limestone and Belmont Abbey, racked up its 14th win in the last 15 games in climbing to 12-3 in the league and to 17-6 overall. The Lady Bulldogs end the regular season with five conference road assignments, including Wednesday’s clash at Belmont Abbey.

Southern Wesleyan departed 5-10 and 6-15, respectively.

Kimble downplayed a phenomenal performance that included six rebounds.

“I just wanted to win,” she declared. “Winning is our main goal. My teammates did a great job of finding me. They did the hard work; I did the easy work. But it’s special because (the career precedent) happened on Senior Day. It means a lot.”

Commented veteran Barton head coach Wendee Saintsing: “(Kimble) was awesome today. She’s had an excellent year but, today, she was pretty awesome.”

Soaking in the awesome enjoyment in their final regular-season home game were seniors Kimble, Taura Jones, Khayla Mitchell, Tatyana Jackson, Karimah Dean and Fike High product Jasmine Fate.

Despite being foul-plagued, Dean knocked down all six of her shots from the floor in netting 13 points. Jackson doled out 10 assists and Jones managed seven points. Fate scored a pair.

Junior Kianna Wynn added 15 points and eight rebounds. Shanika Peterkin, a 6-foot-2 freshman, blocked eight shots and pulled in eight rebounds.

The Lady Warriors owned a 9-8 lead when Dean came off the bench to spark an 8-0 run that vaulted Barton in front for keeps. The Lady Bulldogs upped the lead to 12 points on three occasions in the second quarter.

Southern Wesleyan, despite problems finishing shots from close range, had cut the lead to 34-28 when Barton answered with the 17-0 tear with Kimble scoring at will and Peterkin blocking shots. The Lady Bulldogs poured in 13 of 18 shots from the floor for 72-percent accuracy in the third quarter — when Kimble fired in 15 points.

Eighth-year Southern Wesleyan head coach John Davis hailed the 2017-18 edition as the best Barton team he’s seen.

“The first five minutes of the second half separated the game,” Davis contended. “They came out with a purpose. They got out in transition and hit some 3s. We were not doing a very good job of defending against the 3, but they put it to us.”

The Lady Warriors got 16 points and 10 rebounds from 6-foot senior Tatiyani Mahone and 11 from sophomore Breanna Richardson.