MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Freshman Nyeshea Willie (Virginia Beach, VA) recorded her first collegiate double-double to pace the Barton College women’s basketball team to a 73-61 Conference Carolinas conquest of host Pfeiffer University on Monday evening in Merner Gym. Barton (8-2 Overall, 4-0 Conf.) showed some rust in the first half playing its first game in 22 days but outscored the Lady Falcons (3-6, 2-1) by 15 in the second half to take the showdown between two of the three undefeated teams in the league heading into 2011.
Willie tied her season-best point total by pouring in 15. The 5-foot-8 guard corralled a game-high 10 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. Willie filled up the box score with five assists, three steals, and one block.
Junior Jannetta Robinson (Willard, NC) swished a team-high 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs on 8-of-13 precision. Senior Jamila Johnson (Garner, N.C.) bucketed 14 points and handed out a game-high eight assists. Sophomore Janae Jackson (Fort Belvoir, VA) flirted with a double-double with nine boards and eight points. Classmate Jolanda Mitchell (Raleigh, NC) also netted eight points.
The first half was tightly contested with both squads building no more than a five point advantage. The opening 20 minutes featured eight of the games nine lead changes before a pair of layups by the sophomore duo of Christina Harvey (Locust Grove, VA) and Brittany Cox (Winston-Salem, N.C.) provided the hosts with a 34-31 advantage at halftime.
Harvey led all players with 17 points with an impressive 7-of-8 shooting performance. Senior Devona Knight (Woodbridge, VA) added 15 points for the Falcons. Both Harvey and Knight had eight rebounds. Pfeiffer shot a sizzling 54% (13-of-24) from the floor in the first half including 57% (4-of-7) from behind the arc while Barton was held to 39% accuracy comprising of 0-for-3 from three-point range. Robinson and Willie led all players into the locker room with 10 and eight points, respectively.
Barton set the momentum in the second half on consecutive layups by Jackson and Willie in the first minute. The Bulldogs never trailed in the final 19 minutes and a pair of made free throws by senior Shawnta’ Shelton midway through the period broke the fourth and final tie of 50-up. Barton held Pfeiffer to just four made field goals in the final 10 minutes, pulling away late on the strength of a 23-11 closing surge.
The Falcons finished with a better shooting percentage than the Bulldogs -- 48% to 42% -- but committed 11 more turnovers and allowed 20 offensive rebounds as Barton took 28 more shot attempts than the hosts.
Barton will go for its third straight win at Conference Carolinas foe Erskine College in Due West, SC, on Saturday. The Lady Falcons will host Mount Olive on Thursday. Both tip-off's are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.