WOOSTER, Ohio – After trailing by single-digits entering the backstretch of the first half, Berea College's women's basketball team steadily pulled away throughout the final two periods, in part to steller defense, to defeat The College of Wooster 77-56 in the second game of the 21st Annual Nan Nichols Classic at Timken Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Berea's Bri Lanham led all scorers with 27 points, while four other Mountaineers (2-0) tallied double-digit scoring efforts. Sophomore guard Anna Gibbs headlined the Fighting Scots' (1-1) offensive put-out with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range.
|First-year Aubri McKoy goes for a lay up in the Scots' home-opener against Berea College.|
Sophomore Christina Vukovich set the pace early for a back-and-forth battle, as the forward tallied a put-back after pulling down the offensive rebound on the game's opening shot. Vukovich scored six of the Scots' first eight points, while ultimately finishing with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
After exchanging baskets throughout the opening 7:09, first-year Aubri McKoy connected on a mid-range jumper to cut Berea's lead to three with less than three minutes in the opening stanza, but a 9-2 Mountaineers' run gave Berea a 29-19 edge going into the second period.
After a steal from Gibbs midway through the second, senior Sydney Failing charged the basket to earn two shots from the line. The forward connected on both to bring Wooster's deficit within nine with 4:15 remaining in the half, but a 7-of-13 first-half effort from 3-point range helped give Berea a 47-34 lead going into the break.
In the second half, Berea steadily pulled away, aided by a stout team defensive effort that held the Scots to under 20 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes, while going 3-of-8 from behind the arc and 9-of-14 from the free throw line in the final two periods.
Ten different Scots scored on the day led by Gibbs' 18, while McKoy, Vukovich, and senior Natalie Coschigano each tallied eight points.
Notable, Lanham's 27 points stands tied for sixth for the most individual points scored in a game throughout the 21-year history of the Nan Nichols Classic. The tournament record is 62, which was set by Amber Bodrick of Thiel College in 2006.
The Scots return to action tomorrow as they close out the Nan Nichols Classic at 3 p.m. against Albion College (2-0).