DANVILLE, Va. – Despite five players finishing in double figures, the Mary Baldwin University women's basketball team fell 80-74 against Averett in USA South action in the Grant Center on Friday night.
The Fighting Squirrels drop to 4-4 on the season with an 0-2 mark in league play, while the Cougars open USA South action with a win and improve to 5-2 overall.
Brooke Anders led the team with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field – all from long range. She was also perfect at the free throw line. Anders also recorded a steal in 35 minutes.
Demet Saygili recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-best 10 rebounds in 38 minutes on the floor. She registered three assists and a pair of steals as well.
Mary Moran matched a career-high 15 points in 32 minutes. She also matched a career high with nine rebounds, including four offensive boards, and tallied an assist.
Bryonna Woofter tallied 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor, which is a season high. She led the team with five assists and tallied three rebounds and a steal.
Hannah Varner rounded out the scoring leaders as she dropped 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench. She also grabbed two boards and added a pair of assists.
AU opened the first quarter scoring the first five points to grab a 5-0 lead with 8:08 left in the period. Back-to-back scored from the Fighting Squirrels cut the lead to one point before the Cougars extended the lead back to four points (8-4) with 5:44 on the clock. Alternating scores capped by a layup from Cauy Duboise set the score at 10-9 in favor of the home side. Two jumpers from AU and a three from Saygili pulled MBU within two near the end of the period. Another trey from Anders with just 10 seconds on the clock gave MBU its first lead of the night at 15-14, but a three at the buzzer from Averett gave it a 17-15 lead after one quarter.
A three-pointer by Anders put the Fighting Squirrels ahead to start the second quarter followed by a layup from Saygili to push the lead to three points, 20-17. Averett jumped back out into the lead on a jumper to make the score 25-22. Alternating baskets over the next several minutes saw Au hold on to the three point advantage before a pair of three from MBU countered by consecutive layups from the Cougars as the home side held a 38-37 lead at halftime.
Alternating baskets to start the second half ended with another three from Anders to tie the contest at 42-42 midway through the third quarter. Eventually, the Cougars gained a two-point advantage but yet another three from Anders gave the Fighting Squirrels a 50-49 lead with 3:04 left in the period. A basket from Nicole Mallon proved to be the final field goal of the quarter for either side as MBU held a 55-50 lead going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, a pair of free throws and a layup from the Cougars cut the deficit to just one point before a three from Codie Heilig stretched the MBU lead back to four points with 8:28 left in regulation. A layup from both sides and a pair of free throws for Mary Baldwin pushed the advantage to six points, but the Cougars mounted a 14-5 run to take the lead at 70-67 with 2:36 left on the clock. Four straight free throws from the Fighting Squirrels were matched by back-to-back layups from the Cougars before a three from Woofter tied the contest at 74-74 with 52 seconds on the clock.
A layup from Averett gave the Cougars the lead with 30 seconds left to play to force a timeout by Mary Baldwin, but AU hit four free throws in the waning seconds to walk away with an 80-74 victory.
For Averett, Brooke Carthon finished with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field. She pulled down seven rebounds and added six assists to go with two blocks and a steal. Briana Payne recorded 16 points and eight rebounds, while Ravyn Johnson totaled a game-high 15 rebounds to go along with seven points and three steals.
As a team, Mary Baldwin shot 38.7 percent (24-62), including 11-of-19 from three-point range. In comparison, the Cougars made 43.2 percent (32-74) of their shots and also won the battle on the bounds with a 46-32 advantage in rebounds.
The Fighting Squirrels are idle for nearly 10 days before returning to action at home against Meredith on Dec. 15 at 4 pm.