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MCBB Comes Close in 57-54 Loss to Averett

Zaina Hook on the drive

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The visiting Averett Cougars held on for a 57-54 win over a tenacious Meredith College basketball roster in Wednesday night's USA South action. Kimberly Schuh finished with a game-high 22 points, 13 rebounds.

The Avenging Angels found a way to recover from an 18-point deficit with 5:35 left in regulation to trail by just three with seconds left on the clock. An unfortunate late recognition on a timeout call left MCBB with just 4.6 seconds to travel the length of the floor for a long attempt at a three.

A slow offensive start allowed Averett to open with a 17-6 first quarter lead, and neither team made any headway in the second with both scoring just nine apiece. With the Angels on the hunt in the third, Madison Gladwell drained a three and picked up a pair of steals late in the frame to challenge AU. She and Schuh finished both defensive plays with a pair of layups, and MCBB closed out the period down by nine with the momentum heading into the final 10 minutes of play.

Zaina Hook found Gladwell in the opening minute of the fourth. Kate Perko grabbed a steal on the next play, and Hook dumped off to Gladwell for another easy bucket to pull the Angels back to within five.

But the basket went cold for Meredith through the next 2:34, allowing the Cougars to put together a 9-0 run to spread the gap back to double digits. Head Coach LaQuanda Quick called for a timeout to settle her team. AU scored two more buckets before an offensive rebound from Schuh jumpstarted another Angels rally.

Schuh scored back-to-back buckets around the three-minute mark to pull MCBB to within 11, and Daia Dawkins picked up a steal and made a free throw to continue the pressure. An Averett miscue put the ball back in the hands of Perko for two and Dawkins forced another turnover leading to a three from Gladwell to pull the Avenging Angels back to within five at 1:07.

Schuh made a pair of free throws with just 34 seconds left on the clock, and a missed AU attempt gave the Angels one last chance.

Gladwell posted 12 points, and Perko finished with 11 points, 13 boards. Hook dished out eight assists with two steals, and Dawkins picked up three steals with one assist. Mikayla Thompson made a free throw with one rebound, one assist.

AUs Ravyn Johnson led the Cougars with 17 points, while Genesis Weiters and Brooke Carthon grabbed 10 rebounds apiece.

The Angels remain at home Saturday for a 2 p.m. conference match-up with N.C. Wesleyan.