Lincoln University, Pa. -Teira Pendleton scored a career-high 22 points as the Lady Lions rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to upset #5 ranked Virginia Union University 82-78 Saturday afternoon at Manuel Rivero Hall.
The Lady Lions improve to 7-17 overall and 4-10 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Games. The Panthers of Virginia Union, ranked #5 nationally in WBCA poll and #7 in D2SIDA poll, fall to 21-2 overall and 12-2 in CIAA games. The win also marks the second season in a row that the Lady Lions have defeated a nationally ranked Virginia Union squad at home, as they defeated the Panthers 70-65 on January 25, 2016.
Pendleton's 22 points led four Lincoln players in double figures and also marked the first time an LU player scored 20 or more points in a game this season. Kholby Oliver came off the bench to score 16 points (5-9 FG, 4-7 3FG) and She'cquan Bailey added 13, including a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line (all in the fourth quarter). Monique Cheek chipped in ten points and led the team with four assists while Pendleton had a team-high eight rebounds and career-best five steals.
Lincoln shot a season-high 83.3% (25-30) from the free throw line, with Pendleton producing a 10-11 effort. Their 83.3% mark is the highest in a game since shooting 85.7% against Elizabeth City State in February 2009. Lincoln shot 10-15 in the fourth quarter and was a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line in the final period. LU finished the game shooting 44.1% from the field.
The Panthers used a 12-4 run to build a 13 point lead in the third quarter before Pendleton ignited an 11-2 rally in the final three minutes of the third quarter and into the fourth to close the gap to four at 58-54. The junior forward finished the quarter scoring eight points in the period. Oliver's 3-ball capped the run at the 9:24 mark of the fourth. The Panthers pushed their lead back to seven on Ashley Smith's traditional three-point play before the Lions seven straight points to tie the game at 63-63. Pendleton started the run with a layup followed by a basket+one for Bailey before two free throws for Oliver knotted the score with 6:29 left. Union countered with six straight points and again the Lady Lions rallied to tie, with Pendleton's basket-and-one knotting things up again at 71-71. Still tied at 73 moments later, Bailey forced a turnover and Pendleton was fouled, setting up the final push by the LU ladies.
Pendleton made both free throws to give Lincoln a 75-73 lead with 2:10 left. Smith tied it up with a layup before the Lady Lions scored five straight to open their biggest lead at 80-75. Bailey's two free throws with 42.8 seconds left provided the five-point margin. VUU's Alexis Johnson cut the lead to two with a three-point field goal with 18 seconds left. The Panthers almost forced a turnover, tying up the ball with possession going to Lincoln and then fouled Bailey who calmly sank two free throws to make the score 82-78 with 15.8 seconds left. Brittany Jackson's three-point shot as time was running out was deflected by Cheek and Lady Walker's shot at the buzzer would not fall and the Lions completed the comeback and the upset victory.
Jackson led the Panthers with 26 points. Walker recorded a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Smith added 12 points while Johnson chipped in ten.
The Panthers did dominate the boards, out-rebounding the Lady Lions 51-31, including a 24-7 advantage on the offensive glass. VUU outscored LU 20-9 in the second-chance-points category. The Lady Lions did however take full advantage of 19 Panther turnovers, scoring 31 points off the VUU miscues while the Panthers managed just 13 points off of 13 LU turnovers.
~Lincoln Athletics Communications