MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Boasting four players in double-figure scoring and 80% shooting from the charity stripe, the Pfeiffer University women's basketball team handed King University their first conference loss of the season, 67-62 inside Merner Gymnasium. Following the game, Head Coach Roy Dow said it best, "Given the quality of King, multiple Falcon players contributed, and the defensive execution from a game plan standpoint was fun to watch." Pfeiffer snaps a six-game losing streak and improves to 2-9 on the season and 1-2 in Conference Carolinas. With the loss, the Tornado drop to 8-3 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. King University had not posted a loss since November 21, 2013 and were unbeaten in the month of December.
Entering tonight's matchup the Falcons knew they'd be facing one of Conference Carolinas' most dynamic teams, as well as the conference's leading rebounder in Bonnie Durrett. Durrett, not just a force on the rebounding side of the ball also leads her team in scoring, averaging 13 points per game. The Falcons walked into Merner Gym tonight clearly prepared to handle Durrett, and more than prepared for the Tornado. In the first half of action, Durrett only saw nine minutes of playing time, pulled down only three rebounds, and was held completely scoreless by the stifling defense of the Falcons.
The game belonged to the Falcons from the opening tip-off as junior Lauren White started off the scoring with a layup to put Pfeiffer up 2-0. White finished the game with the only double-double of the matchup, recording 12 points and 11 total rebounds for the home team. Both teams would trade buckets over the next four minutes of play and following a layup by King's Sydney Harris, the Tornado had what would eventually be their only lead of night. King's lead lasted less than a minute, and with a three-point basket by junior Carter Williams with 14:48 left to play in the first half, Pfeiffer regained control. A three-pointer by King's Stephanie Brantley with 12:40 left to play in the half tied the game for the final time. Grabbing a huge rebound off a missed three-pointer by freshman Vivian Doerr, 5'7" freshman Amy Steller went up strong for a layup under the basket and came away with a three-point play of her own. The Falcons would not relinquish the lead again.
"I thought we finally embraced the challenge of what it takes to defeat an opponent at the college level," Dow added following the win. "Bottom line is we believed, we executed just enough, we were just tough enough, and we finished the game."
The Falcon players in double-figures contributed 80% of Pfeiffer's total points, and joining White were freshman Alexis Stallard who poured in 12, Steller who added ten points, and Williams who led all players with 20 total points. White wasn't the only one boasting double figure rebounds as freshman Ariana Tillman chipped in 10 of her own over the course of only 21 minutes. Pfeiffer finished the night with nine steals, 49 total rebounds, and five blocks. A total team effort.
Pfeiffer continues conference play on January 8th when they travel to Belmont Abbey for a 5:30 pm tip-off.