RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Meredith College basketball Angels pushed past visiting Mary Baldwin University in the fourth quarter and pressed forward for a 60-54 victory, their first in five games. Zaina Hook dished out three-of-five assists in the final 11 minutes of the game to spark the comeback win for MCBB.
Down by 10 at the half, in true Avenging Angels style, the team continued to play hard with eyes on a different outcome. MCBB began to chip away at their deficit, outscoring the Fighting Squirrles by eight in the third period. A steal by Lindsay Bell late in the frame helped Zaina Hook find Kimberly Schuh on the inside for two, leaving Meredith with just a two-point gap heading into the final stanza.
But there the score remained until Baldwin's leading scorer Demet Saygili drove in for a layup at 7:20 to push their lead to 48-44. Both teams missed opportunities over the next minute-thirty when Hook stripped MBU of the ball, finishing off with a bucket.
Another Baldwin misstep led to another Hook assist, this one to Kate Perko, as MCBB evened the score at 48 with 5:10 left on the clock. After a Baldwin timeout, Madison Gladwell forced another MBU turnover and Hook found Perko for another two to put the Angels in front 50-48. The lead was shortlived as Baldwin's Codie Heilig drained a three from the top of the key, but Perko found Gladwell past the arc for three 90-seconds later to reclaim the advantage.
With time slipping away for the visitors, a quick four fouls put Schuh at the line for two with 25 seconds remaining. She swished both to spread the gap to a two-possession game. MBU missed their next attempt, and Gladwell drained two more free throws to extend Meredith's lead to six with 15 left on the clock.
Bell fouled deep into Baldwin's next possession, but Mary Moran made just one of her free throws to maintain a five-point spread. Hook hit just one of hers on the next foul, and Saygili drove down a lane for a quick basket, leaving the Angels with a three-point lead and seconds on the clock.
LaQuanda Quick called for a 30-second timeout, and Hook hit both free throws on the quick MBU foul, securing the six-point comeback victory for the Avenging Angels.
Schuh matched Saygilli with a game-high 17 points, grabbing 11 rebounds with four assists. Perko finished with 12 of each, adding three blocks, and Gladwell scored 14 points with three steals. Hook finished with 11 points, five boards with three steals, and Bell scored five with two rebounds. Daia Dawkins scored a free throw, adding one rebound and one block.
Today's win sets Meredith on a strong path towards to a spot in the USA South Tournament with just two regular season games left on the schedule. The Avenging Angels travel to Pfeiffer midweek and host Methodis on Senior Day next Saturday. Round one tournament play is set to begin the 19th at the home of seeds three and four in each division.
Make plans to join Coach Quick and the rest of the Avenging Angels next Saturday with a pregame recognition of senior Madison Gladwell. The Meredith College Dance Crew is set for a final halftime performance as well.