Lancers Down Presbyterian 76-63
Published 7:43 pm Saturday, February 19, 2022
Longwood womens basketball led the entire way to victory on Saturday, hosting the Presbyterian Blue Hose, adding one to the win column in comfortable fashion 76-63.
Longwood (15-11, 12-3 Big South) swept the Blue Hose this year grabbing it’s second of two wins on the season over the conference rival. The Lancers kicked off the game with a 12-0 run over Presbyterian (9-17, 4-12 Big South) gaining a lead they never lost. Akila Smith strung another stat stuffing performance in game one of the weekend, going 4-4 from the field in the first quarter. Smith finished the game with 20 points, two blocks, and four rebounds.
Kyla McMakin joined her teammate in stuffing the stat sheet grabbing four from behind the arch, five assists, and 18 final points. Tra’Dayja Smith, the third member of the veteran big three, went 3-3 from three all in the first half, finishing the game with those nine. Smith tacked on three more assists on the year backing up her first ranked status across the Big South in total assists. Smith now sits with a total of 137 on the year.
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In a hard fought game between the conference rivals, three Lancers hit double figures before the third quarter ended, securing the victory and protecting their home court for the second to last time this season. Smith, McMakin, and freshman Kennedy Calhoun led the game in points, combining for 48 of Longwood’s final 76. Calhoun grabbed her sixth double-digit point game of the year with 10.
For Presbyterian, Jade Compton tends to bring the heat whenever facing the Lancers. On Saturday, it was the Lancer’s defense who had the upper hand holding Compton to only 12 . Longwood caused Presbyterian to create 24 turnovers, and the team earned 12 steals quieting the Blue Hose’s hot offense.
Never quitting until the final buzzer, the Blue Hose outscored Longwood in a third quarter push (22-18) in an attempt to close the gap. Down by 16 going into the final ten minutes, it read to be too much for the Blue Hose. Maleia Bracone grabbed 18, all while forward Bryanna Brady added another 16. Bracone, Brady, Compton, and Nyah Willis (12 points) combined for all but two of Presbyterians final score.
The win on Saturday tied Longwood’s program record for Big South wins. The win also keeps Longwood in the top four across the Big South, with potential of earning a by in the first round of the tournament. With the season winding down and momentum in the Lancers corner, the team is set up for its final three regular season games coming up next week.
A quick turnaround for Longwood, the team hits the road for the first of its final week of games tomorrow, Sunday Feb. 20 at Hampton with tip time set for 4 p.m.