by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College women's basketball team scored 45 second half point en route to a 77-65 victory over conference foe Southern Wesleyan University on Saturday night in Wilson Gymnasium.
Barton (11-12, 10-6) opened the game with a quick four points before Southern Wesleyan answered with a four-point run of their own for the game's first tie at the 17:31 mark of the first half.
The Lady Bulldogs responded with a 13-4 run over a 4:30 minute stretch to build a 17-8 edge seven minutes into the contest. The Warriors turned their offense around in a hurry, taking their first lead of the game at 8:52 mark of the half.
Southern Wesleyan (6-14, 4-13) continued to build on its lead, closing out the opening half on a 16-11 run to earn a 38-32 lead at intermission. The Warriors dominated the paint in the first 20 minutes of play, outscoring Barton 24-16 down low.
After three-point from Southern Wesleyan's Christian Perkins got the second half underway, Barton scored six unanswered points to close the gap to a three-point deficit.
Barton's first lead of the final half of play would come on a layup from sophomore Shatisha Dukes at the 13:25 mark, followed by another layup from fellow sophomore Tiffany Webster for a 46-43 advantage with 12:56 to play.
The lead would again change hands on two made free throws by Southern Wesleyan's Bri Seda before Barton reclaimed the lead on a three-pointer from senior Kaila Lea.
Seda again tied the game with two made free throws just seconds later before freshman Tatyana Jackson connected on a three-pointer with 10:18 remaining to give Barton a 52-43 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs lead would grow to as large as seven-points with just under nine minutes to play, but a 9-2 run by the Warriors saw the game's fifth and final tie at 60-60 with six minutes to go.
Over the final six minutes of play, Barton went on a 17-5 run, including a 10-for-11 performance from the free throw line in the closing minutes to seal the 12-point win.
As a team, Barton finished the game 22-for-24 from the charity stripe and held a 46-41 advantage on the boards. The Lady Bulldog defense held Southern Wesleyan to 32.9 percent shooting from the floor and turned 14 Warrior turnovers into 19 points.
Dukes led the attack with her third double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes of action.
Webster tied for the team-lead with 17 points, while Lea followed with 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior Brianna Thomas continued to fill up the stat sheet, recording 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks in the game.
Barton will travel to Tigerville, S.C. for the first game of a three-game road trip on Wednesday, February 11. The game between the Lady Bulldogs and North Greenville University is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.