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DUE WEST, S.C. — After a sluggish first half that saw last-place Erskine hold a one-point lead, visiting Barton kicked into a higher gear in the second half of Wednesday’s NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas women’s basketball game.
The Lady Bulldogs, who seemed to have forgotten their 77-74 overtime loss to the Flying Fleet in Wilson Gym way back on Dec. 2, found the necessary inspiration at halftime as they outscored Erskine 45-17 in the second half on the way to an 82-55 triumph. The win, coupled with Belmont Abbey’s 87-72 loss at North Greenville on Wednesday, left Barton, 19-6 overall, alone in second place in Conference Carolinas at 14-3 and a game behind Limestone. The Lady Bulldogs, ranked fifth in the first Div. II Southeast Region rankings released Wednesday, will visit the No. 6 Saints (20-4, 15-2 CC) on Saturday.
Barton shot a sizzling 58.1 percent from the floor in the second half and held the Fleet (4-19, 3-14 CC) to just 20 percent over the final 20 minutes of play. The Lady Bulldogs scored the first five points of the third quarter and used an 13-4 spurt to seize control with a 50-42 lead with just under half the time on the quarter clock elapsed.
Freshman 6-foot-2 center Shanika Peterkin scored all 13 of her points in the second half to go with her 17 rebounds. She joined senior forward Kianna Wynn, who had 17 points and 13 rebounds, in a formidable post duo for Barton, which utterly dominated the rebounding 51-31. Peterkin also blocked six shots, four of those coming in the first half.
Redshirt senior guard Alex Kimble had 15 points while senior point guard Tatyana Jackson had 11 points, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and seven assists for the Lady Bulldogs.
Senior Karimah Dean finished with 13 points in just 16 minutes on the floor, including 11 points in the first half when the Lady Bulldogs struggled to keep up with the Fleet. Christian Brown scored all 12 of her total points for Erskine in the opening half as the Fleet shot 48.6 percent (16 of 37). Brown’s jumper triggered a 7-0 run that gave Erskine its biggest lead at 31-27 with 3:33 to go in the half.
But Barton just came out firing in the third quarter. Kimble swished a jumper for two of the Lady Bulldogs’ 16 second-chance points after Peterkin rebounded Wynn’s miss to open the half. After an Erskine turnover, Jackson was true from 3-point range before Peterkin grabbed a defense rebound and went end to end for a layup and a 44-39 Barton lead.
Dareisha Sowell’s 3-pointer cut Barton’s lead to 45-42 with 6:35 left in the third but the Lady Bulldogs reeled off 10 straight points, capped by Kimble’s 3-pointer with 2:54 left, that left the Fleet dazed. Triggered by Jackson’s 3-pointer, Barton then scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter for the knockout punch and some retribution for that December loss in Wilson Gym.