Lancers fall in overtime to Eagles

Published 8:46 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

Longwood University’s women’s basketball team fought hard Tuesday night but ended up losing 69-60 in overtime to host Winthrop University.

The Eagles were able to hold off a Lancer squad that was led by a 15-point performance from junior guard/forward Kristina Antonenko, along with a 13-point outing from junior guard Ciarah Bennett and 12 points from senior guard Micaela Ellis.

“It’s frustrating for everyone in that locker room,” said Longwood Head Coach Bill Reinson. “We’re subjected to more challenges each and every day, yet we continue to battle. I’m proud of their resilience. We’re competing so hard, yet have very little to show for it.”

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Longwood (3-17, 1-8 Big South) wrapped up the first half of conference play with its first overtime game since falling 36-32 to Presbyterian College during the 2014-15 season. Meanwhile, Winthrop (2-18, 1-8 Big South) snapped an 16-game losing skid.

“I believe in these ladies because I see their effort every day,” Reinson said. “As a coaching staff, we just need to find a way to get them over the hump.”

Anika Riley and Noell Kellers aided Winthrop’s comeback bid after the Lancers took their largest lead of eight points in the game in the early part of the fourth quarter. A four-point play in the final 20 seconds from Kellers tied the score and sent the game into overtime.

Kellers had six of her 10 points in the overtime period to complete Winthrop’s comeback in a game that featured 10 ties and 20 lead changes.

For the Lancers, Antonenko scored in double figures for the second time in a three-game span, as her 15 points marked her highest point total since her Longwood Division I record-setting 33 points earlier this season against North Carolina Central University. The Moscow, Russia, product finished 5-of-13 from the field and made 5-of-6 free throws to go along with three rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes.

In her return to the lineup after missing three straight games, Bennett finished with 13 points to record her second game of the season in double figures. In addition, Bennett recorded three rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal after coming off the bench to play 27 minutes.

Ellis, Longwood’s lone captain this season, scored in double figures for the sixth time during the 2017-18 campaign, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

After playing two straight on the road, Longwood welcomes Charleston Southern University (CSU) to Willett Hall on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 5 p.m.