Central, S.C. - Tatiana Manuel contributed 17 points and Breanna Richardson contributed 15 points for a combined 32 points in the Warriors first Conference Carolina win against Lees-McRae College in the game on January 3. Aneysa Williams followed with 13 points. Manuel also had 10 rebounds and Kristen Smith had nine.
The Warriors started off the New Year with a home conference game. The Southern Wesleyan women's basketball team struck first with free throws from Kristen Smith followed by a layup from Breanna Richardson to take the lead 4-0 before the Bobcats put 3 on the board. Lees-McRae quickly responded by taking the lead 13-8. The Warriors were able to tie it up at 15-15 with a 3-pointer from Erika Wesolek and push a 17-15 lead with free throws made from Taylor Vinson, but it wasn't enough as the Bobcats pulled ahead in the first quarter 21-20.
Aneysa Williams quickly came out scoring in the second quarter, regaining the lead. The Warriors battled it out gaining as much as a 9-point lead with shots from Tatiyana Mahone and Manuel. The strong first half ended with a 3-pointer from Williams, with a lead of 44-36.
The Warriors came out strong in the second half with a layup from Manuel. The Warriors continued to pull ahead and had an 18-point lead at one point. Southern Wesleyan fought hard and was able to come away with a conference win against Lees-McRae, 84-69.
"We came out a bit sluggish on the defensive end to start the game, but we really changed the momentum of the game from a defensive standpoint in the 2nd and 3rd quarters," said Head Women's Basketball Coach John Davis. He continued, "We were plus one in rebounding at the half and we were able to be plus 6 in the second half. That is a testament to the team playing hard. We were well-balanced offensively and had a lot of people step up for us, which is what we need each time out. Great team win to start out 2017!"
The Warriors made 48 rebounds as a team compared to the 43 rebounds made by the Lees-McRae Bobcats. Southern Wesleyan had a 48.4% field goal percentage and had 24 assists in the evening. The Warriors surrendered 20 turnovers to the Bobcats 15.
The win for the Warriors makes their record is now 3-6 and 1-4 in Conference Carolinas action. Lees-McRae is now 1-10 and 1-4 in conference play. Southern Wesleyan will hit the road this weekend to face Barton on Friday, January 6 at 5:30 p.m. and Mt. Olive on Saturday, January 7 at 5:30 p.m.