by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College women's basketball team suffered its second defeat of the season to Limestone College as the Saints secured an 86-72 victory over the Lady Bulldogs on Saturday evening in Wilson Gymnasium.
As a team, Limestone (26-1, 21-0) shot 47 percent overall and turned 19 Barton turnovers in 22 points, while the Lady Bulldogs held a 41-35 advantage on the boards in the 14-point loss.
Limestone opened the game on a 12-2 run over the game's first five and half minutes of play for a lead it would hold for much of the first half.
Barton (13-15, 12-9) was able to close the gap to a one-point deficit multiple times, eventually tying the game at 23-23 on a jumper from senior Kaila Lea with 6:15 remaining. However, the Saints closed the half on a 15-9 run to hold a 38-32 lead at intermission.
The Saints halftime lead was in large part due to a 48.4 shooting effort from the field and knocking down 4-of-8 three-point attempts, while Barton shot just 36.4 in the game's opening 20 minutes and 10 percent (1-for-10) from long range.
The Lady Bulldog deficit reached double digits once more in the first minute of the second half of play before Barton was able to get within a five-point spread following five points from freshman Deja Jeanpierre and another Lea jumper.
Limestone's lead grew to as large as 18 points with 11:46 left to play as Barton was unable to get any closer than a nine-point deficit over the final 10 minutes of action as the Saints sealed their 25th straight victory
Jasmine Kearse led all scorers with 23 points and six rebounds as four different Saints scored in double figures.
Lea led Barton with 22 points of her own, shooting 8-for-15 from the floor in 36 minutes of play, while sophomore Shatisha Dukes chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds. Jeanpierre scored a career-high 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting off of the bench, as senior Shadawn Clanton led all players with a career-high 11 rebounds.
With the loss Barton falls to sixth in the league standings, while Limestone remains atop the conference with a perfect record in league play.
Barton will conclude the regular season on Tuesday, February 24 when the University of Mount Olive comes to Wilson for a 5:30 p.m. matchup.