Feb. 22, 2014 AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Paine College basketball teams split games with Benedict College on Feb. 22 inside of the HEAL Complex. The Lady Lions (9-14, 6-7) defeated the regionally ranked Lady Tigers (17-9, 11-5) 54-48. The Tigers (15-10, 10-7) beat the Lions (14-11, 9-6) 78-74.
The Lady Lions last win against Benedict came in February of 2008 when the Purple and White won 74-70 at home. This time around, the score was much lower but the game did not lack in excitement. Ariel Brown scored the first points of the game with a jumper from the field. Benedict, No. 8 in the NCAA South Region, then gained a 5-4 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the half. The stretched their lead to three before Jemetria Fletcher and Aalyiha Wright gave Paine a one-point lead. The Lady Tigers’ Kadeeja Vaughn gained the lead back for her team before a Lashonda Canty layup stole it back for the final time for Paine. At the half, the Lady Lions led by eight with the scoreboard reading 29-21.
In the second half, Benedict never got closer than four points of the lead as the Lady Lions continued to pressure and push the ball. Both teams shot below their average and both team’s leading scorers shot less than half of their averages. Paine shot 29 percent from the field, 27 percent from behind the arc and 62 percent from the free throw line. The Lady Tigers shot 28 percent from the field, 13 percent from behind the arc and 64 percent from the line.
Tannasia Rhodes led the team in points, rebounds and assists. Rhodes had 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal. Brown had 12 points, four rebounds and three steals. Division II’s leading scorer, Ashley Watts, had 10 points, her smallest point total of the season, and eight rebounds, her highest rebounding total of the season. Ashley Thompson had 13 points to lead Benedict in scoring.
The men’s game started lopsided with Paine scoring 12 unanswered points in the first five minutes of play to start the game in favor of the home team. As the Tigers began to put points on the board, Paine remained strong and never let Benedict closer than within five points through the entire half. At halftime, Paine led 41-30.
In the second half, the Tigers began to slowly gain on the lead. Benedict’s Lynden Davis tied the game at 51 with 11:56 remaining on the clock following a 9-0 Tiger run. Benedict took the lead and then Toby Veal tied the game back and Sean Morgan earned the lead back for Paine. From there, the lead changed eight times in the last 9:26 of play. In the last two minutes of play, Paine was within two to five points of the lead but Benedict held on.
Veal had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kedric Taylor was the team’s top scorer with 19 points, eight assists and two steals. Morgan also scored in double digits with 12 points.
Paine shot 48 percent from the field, 14 percent from behind the arc and 64 percent from the free throw line. Benedict shot 45 percent from the field, 20 percent from behind the arc and 70 percent from the line. They were led by Deonte Johnson who had 18 points and eight rebounds.