Lady Bulldogs fall 77-74 in OT

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The chances were there for the Barton College women’s basketball team to pull out a win in Saturday’s NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas game against Erskine in Wilson Gym, but the Lady Bulldogs just couldn’t get over the proverbial hump.

Barton led 57-53 on redshirt senior Alex Kimble’s 3-pointer with 4:40 left in the game but that would be the Lady Bulldogs’ final lead as they ultimately fell 77-74 in overtime.

“I think they just executed down the stretch and we didn’t,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Wendee Saintsing said. “We had quite a few defensive breakdowns and weren’t able to execute our offense.”

Barton dropped to 0-2 in conference play and 3-5 overall while the Flying Fleet exited 2-1 and 3-6.

The Lady Bulldogs played catch-up virtually the entire afternoon after Erskine scored the first five points of the game. Barton trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half before finally taking a 24-23 lead on a jumper by freshman Tayah Doss with 4:26 left in the second quarter. However, the Fleet finished the half with a 30-28 lead and scored the first eight points of the third quarter to go up by 10 again.

Barton fought back, owning its biggest advantage on the trey by Kimble, who led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points, but a 10-1 surge by the Fleet followed. Barton wouldn’t go away and a layup by Taura Jones following a steal by Dinah Neal cut the Erskine margin to 68-67 with 26 seconds left. Jones then made a steal but before she could pass to a teammate, Erskine’s Christian Brown stole it back. The Fleet’s Alexis Scott then hit 1 of 2 foul shots before Kimble’s layup with seven seconds sent the game into overtime.

Erskine scored the first four points of the extra session but Barton got a 3-pointer from Kimble to stay close. However, the Lady Bulldogs missed three shots to take the lead in the final two minutes and Kimble’s off-balance heave while being heavily guarded at the buzzer had no chance.

Scott led Erskine with 23 points and 15 rebounds while Brown had 17 points. The Fleet made 42.6 percent (26 of 61) of its field-goal attempts while the Lady Bulldogs connected on just 25 of 83 for 30.1 percent.

“The last four games we’ve had a very unbalanced offense,” Saintsing said. “We’ve expected our guards to do all the scoring and that’s not the way it works. ... Right now we’re just too outside minded.”

Dinah Neal had 14 points while senior Karimah Dean, playing her first game after sitting out Barton’s first seven games for a violation of team rules, had nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds in 33 minutes.

The Lady Bulldogs are off until Saturday, Dec. 9, when they host Conference Carolinas provisional member Emmanuel in a game that will count in the league standings for the Lady Bulldogs.