BEREA -- The Lady Mountaineers fended off a late rally to claim a 78-75 non-conference victory over Asbury University at the Seabury Center on Friday.
The win marked the fifth-straight victory by Berea College (10-2, 3-0 USA South) and another impressive home-court win.
The Lady Mountaineers are currently 7-1 at home this season.
That advantage might've came into play on Friday as Berea had to battle an eager Asbury College team in the final minutes of the game to maintain their lead.
Asbury retook the lead with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter off a layup, but Berea quickly regained the lead again thanks to a contested layup by Nakeisha Greene, which sparked a 5-0 run.
Aaliyah Hampton added two free throws and Greene stole the ball and passed it to Hampton for another layup to make it 66-61 with 3:37 left to play.
Asbury tried once more to rattle Berea, drawing within three points with 18 seconds remaining.
Briana Lanham hit a crucial free throw later to seal the win.
The Lady Eagles missed a last-second three pointer and their chance to force the game into overtime.
"Asbury picked up their energy and we didn't. Our defense got weak and they were making some shots and once that happens you're in a ballgame," Berea coach Trent Milby said of the fourth quarter battle. "Aaliyah Hampton had gotten hot and done some good things then she fouled out and we had to replace her. Destiny Combs and Bailee Vanover stepped up and made some crucial free throws at the end and we just had to hold on for dear life and hoped they missed that shot."
Berea out-scored the Eagles in every quarter except the third and ended the game with 42.2 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from three-point range and 81 percent from the free throw line.
Eagles shot just 13.3 percent from the field in the first quarter, but were 52.9% in the third (9-of-17) when they started to claw their way back into the game.
"We did really well in the first half of guarding the three-point line and then they started driving more and got past our guards. It's how it goes… We need to get back into game shape after our long break," Milby said.
However, Berea also upped its offense in response-- shooting a blistering 60 percent (9-of-15) from the field in the fourth quarter.
"We fought and hung in there when they made their run. We found a way to win and that's what I'm proud of," Milby said of his team.
After a brief back-and-forth battle, Berea ended the first quarter on a 12-3 run to take a 16-7 lead.
The Lady Mountaineers continued to dominate in the second quarter and used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take their largest lead of the game.
With five minutes left till halftime, a three-pointer from Kristen Barnes gave Berea a 15-point lead, 27-12.
However, the Lady Eagles rallied in the second half.
Asbury used an 8-0 run in the third quarter to draw within three points heading into the final quarter, 51-48.
Aaliyah Hampton led the Lady Mountaineers with 28 points and was 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. Briana Lanham had 10 points. Nakisha Greene added eight points and 12 rebounds. Bailee Vanover had eight points and was a 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Bethanie Williams had seven points and severn rebounds. Leah Parker had six points. Kristen Barnes had four points. Destiny Combs had four points and Destanie Love had two points.
The Lady Mountaineers will resume conference play today against LaGrange College.