Longwood women keep streak alive in final home game

Published 1:00 am Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Longwood women won their third consecutive game Wednesday with a 67-57 triumph over Gardner-Webb in Big South Conference action. With the win, the basketball team closed its inaugural season at the Joan Perry Brock Center.

The Lancers placed three players in double figures with 16 points from Anne-Hamilton LeRoy, 15 from Malea Brown and a career-high 14 points from Stephanie DavisOtaifo Esenabhalu added a career-best 16 rebounds with seven points, as well. Coming off of an eight-steal performance Saturday against Radford, Kiki McIntryre chipped in seven more to go with seven assists and four points as Longwood improved to 9-19 overall and 6-9 in the league with one regular-season game remaining.

“I’m just really super proud of our team,” said Longwood head coach Erika Lang-Montgomery said. “You could say that we had a little bit of a slow start, but I really think we got back to who we want to be defensively and we were able to get some stops that led to scores and that was how we wanted to play tonight.”

Breaking down the game

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The Longwood women shot 42.4 percent from the field, turned 18 Gardner-Webb turnovers into 22 points and outrebounded the Runnin’ Bulldogs, 42-36, in exacting a measure of revenge against a GWU team that earned a 15-point victory versus the Lancers Jan. 24 in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Gardner-Webb (6-22, 5-10) got off to a quick start, opening a 15-4 lead before the first media break. Longwood rallied to close the gap to 16-15 at the end of the quarter and took the lead for good when Brown drained a pull-up jumper that made it 21-20 with 5:44 remaining in the half.

The Lancers led, 34-27, at intermission and pushed their advantage to as many as 10 late in the third with a Laney Bone free throw. Davis hit her first 3-pointer of the season at the 6:51 mark of the fourth quarter for a 57-46 Longwood edge.

“I’m so proud of her,” Lang-Montgomery said of Davis. “She’s a player that really puts the time in before, after, off days, she comes in here on her own. Even today she was in here on the gun and she was working on her shot, she was working at the free-throw line and so she did some really special things for us. We always know we can count on defense for Steph, but tonight she showed her offensive ability.”

Gardner-Webb closed to within 61-57 with 2:06 to play when reigning Big South Player of the Week Ashley Hawkins (game-high 22 points) hit a jumper, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs got no closer.

For Longwood women, ‘no place like home’

“It’s nice to say ‘there’s no place like home,'” said Longwood head coach Erika Lang-Montgomery, whose team finished an even 6-6 in the JPB. “I think we’re finally starting to feel like this is our home court after being away early in the season and so I feel like we’re finding our stride.”

Longwood closes the regular season Saturday at High Point. Tip time at the Qubein Center is 7 p.m.

“We took care of business,” Lang-Montgomery said. “We did what we were supposed to do today.”