The Lady Colonels (3-2) picked up their third win of the season Monday, downing Davis & Elkins College (1-3) 94-66 in McBrayer Arena.
A dominating performance on the backboards, helped the Lady Colonels go on a 25-3 run in the final 6:29 of the first half that turned a one-point deficit into a 54-34 halftime lead.
EKU held a 54-32 advantage on the backboards — with 17 of those coming on the offensive end — against a team that came into the game averaging 51 rebounds per game, 21 of those offensive rebounds.
“The rebounding stat is amazing,” EKU coach Chrissy Roberts said. “One of the keys to this game was to control the boards, so to outrebound them by 22 is huge.”
The rebounding was a total team effort, as the Lady Colonels got at least five rebounds from six different players.
Marie Carpenter led four Lady Colonels in double figure scoring with 20 points. She also had four assists and four rebounds, one blocked shot and only one turnover.
Pilar Walker had a career-best 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and only one turnover, while freshman Nicole Bowers came off the bench to pour in a career-best 13 points while grabbing six rebounds and one blocked shot and Shelly Harper turned in her first career double-double, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She also dished out three assists.
The Lady Colonels got off to a hot start, using a 18-3 run to grab an 20-4 lead in the game’s first five minutes.
The Lady Senators began to chip away at the lead as they forced the Lady Colonels into numerous turnovers.
Davis & Elkins went on an 8-0 run to finally take a 29-28 lead with seven minutes remaining in the half.
“Our first half turnovers weren’t really caused by them, it was just us,” Walker said. “We were not making smart passes or forcing things when they were not there. We started to play into their hands, playing too fast and making mental mistakes that led to turnovers.”
But following a timeout by Roberts at the 6:29 mark, the Lady Colonels came out and took the game to the Lady Senators.
A bucket by Jasmine Henshaw and a three pointer by freshman Mariah Massengill jump-started the offense and the Lady Colonels went on the 25-3 run to push out to a 54-34 advantage at the half.
After committing 15 turnovers in the first 13:30 of the half, the Lady Colonels only committed one turnover during the late-half run.
“I felt like once we settled down and we got ourselves under control, we were able to cause some separation,” Roberts said. “We want to look to push, but we need to be under control and we don’t need to force it. We pushed it there, but when we didn’t have anything we backed it out and ran our sets and we got good looks.”
Along with the big rebounding effort, EKU got some great production offensively out of its inside players.
Bowers, Maples, Henshaw and Harper got easy position in the paint all night long, and when they got the ball they were patient and either scored or kicked it out to an open teammate on the outside.
“Our post players did a very good job. We talk to them all the time to take their time and finish after you work hard to get yourself into position to score,” Roberts said. “We tell our guards to reward our post players if they are working hard on the block and it’s just give and take. You feed the post, if they have a good look they are going to finish. If there is a double team they kick it back out and we play on. They did a good job of kicking it back out tonight.”
The Lady Colonels were playing their third game in five days, but did not wilt under the relentless full-court press the Lady Senators deployed for all 40 minutes of the game.
Roberts said she was pleased with the effort she got from her team, even though they were a little fatigued.
“I felt like the effort was there and we need that every night. We’ve had a tough stretch and they came out and fought tonight against a very tough Davis & Elkins team,” Roberts said. “So I am proud of them. That’s why we’re going to take a couple of days off.”
The Lady Colonels finished shooting 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from behind the three-point line. EKU held Davis & Elkins to 30.6 percent shooting from the floor and 37.5 percent from behind the line.
EKU had 25 turnovers in the game, but also dished out 25 assists.
The Lady Colonels return to action Saturday at 4 p.m. when Ohio University comes to McBrayer Arena.