LaGrange, Ga. - Senior Samantha Urquhart has become the 11th women's basketball player in North Carolina Wesleyan history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career. Urquhart accomplished the notable feat with a team-high 19 points on Saturday at Piedmont, and then began her climb up the all-time scoring list with 17 points in Sunday's thrilling 89-86 come-from-behind win over LaGrange.
On Sunday, the Bishops overcame a 23-point deficit in the first half by putting together a 21-4 run over the final six minutes of the period for a 49-43 Panther lead at the break. Tiffany Bell and Derreon Cole played key roles in the comeback, combining for 15 of those points.
LaGrange quickly pushed its lead back up to 15 with a 9-0 run to open the second half. Wesleyan regrouped and began chipping away at the Panther lead, completely erasing it nearly ten minutes later when an Urquhart steal and Bell lay-up gave NCWC its first lead of the contest, 68-67, with 7:57 remaining.
Urquhart and Bell proceeded to sandwich a Bishop jumper with a pair of huge treys that gave Wesleyan its biggest lead, 76-69, at the 5:57 mark. The Panthers, however, would not go down without a fight, reeling off the next 11 points to go up 80-76 with 3:15 to go.
Trailing by four, sophomore NeTaih Davis answered for the Bishops with a steal and old-fashioned three-point play to pull her team to within one, and after a defensive stop, junior Monet Edwards knocked down a jumper to give NCWC an 81-80 lead with 2:15 left in regulation.
The final two minutes featured four lead changes and two ties, the final coming at 86-86 on a Bell jumper with 41 ticks on the clock. The Panthers missed an opportunity on their next possession, missing a pair of free throws and offensive putback. Junior Kourtney Salisbury secured the defensive rebound, and with 19 seconds left, she knocked down 1-of-2 free throws to put NCWC on top for good.
LaGrange managed one more shot at the win, but Katie Covington's lay-up with five seconds left was no good. Edwards hauled in the rebound and calmly sank both free throws to seal the three-point win and season sweep.
Bell finished with a game-high 21 points, and Davis and Edwards had 18 and 13, respectively. Salisbury, Urquhart and Edwards each grabbed eight rebounds, while Salisbury and Bell dished out four assists apiece. As a team, the Bishops shot 45 percent from the floor and held the Panthers to 39 percent accuracy.
With 36 points over the weekend, Urquhart now has 1,023 points for her career and ranks 10th all-time. More importantly, however, the Bishops erased a tie with the Panthers in the USA South standings. Wesleyan is now 8-5 in conference play heading into Wednesday night's showdown at Christopher Newport.