Eagles Take Down IUS, Surge into 1st Place in KIAC
NEW ALBANY, Ind. – After losing the first 41 games in the series Asbury’s women have defeated Indiana Southeast two straight after hanging on for a 76-73 win on Thursday night at the Student Activities Building on Southeast’s campus. The Eagles sit along atop the KIAC with a 5-1 mark while IUS falls a half game behind at 5-2.
Lakin Griffith led a balanced Eagle attack with 17 points and 11 rebounds, her sixth double-double of the season and the 23rd of her career. Trenia Barbee also scored 17 points and added nine rebounds in only 18 minutes before fouling out. Laura Carroll scored 14 points and Dorian Downs added 11 off the bench.
Asbury (12-10, 5-1 KIAC) built an 18-point first half lead at 31-13 with 5:22 remaining, but the Grenadiers fought back in the second half. IUS (17-7, 5-2 KIAC) made six three-pointers in each half but got to the free throw line 23 times, 15 in the second half. The Eagles would hold the lead around 10 for most of the second half before the Grenadiers closed the gap late.
The Grenadiers would have their chance to take the lead inside the final minute. With the Eagles leading 74-73 Laura Carroll turned the ball over with 42 seconds left. A subsequent turnover by Heather Wheat gave the ball back to the Eagles with 24 seconds left.
Carroll would make two free throws with nine seconds left but the Grenadiers would have another shot. Megan Murphy would miss two threes inside the final ten seconds as the Eagles escaped with their first victory in 20 trips to New Albany.
Asbury shot 48% for the game and connected on seven-of-16 three-pointers despite second leading scorer Ellen Gray scoring only two points. This was only the third time all season that Gray has not made a three. IUS shot 37% overall and made 12-of-32 from long range.
The Eagles out-rebounded the Grenadiers 40-33 including 14 offensive rebounds for Asbury. Griffith and Barbee combined to pull down 20 rebounds.
Asbury now takes the lead in the KIAC with five league games remaining. The Eagles also hold the tie-breaker over Indiana Southeast by winning both games this season. The KIAC Tournament will be hosted at the higher seed for the first round on February 25 with the semi-finals and finals at Berea. The top seed will get a bye into the semi-finals.
The Eagles will host Midway on Tuesday at 7 pm.