12 Conference Titles | Seven NCAA Tournament Appearances | Five All-Americans | Two Final Fours

Late rally propels Centre women to 55-53 win over Spalding

Late rally propels Centre women to 55-53 win over Spalding
DANVILLE, Ky. - Centre women's basketball escaped Alumni Gymnasium with a narrow 55-53 victory against in-state foe Spalding Tuesday night, overcoming a sluggish offensive performance to remain undefeated for the young season.
The Colonels will head into the Thanksgiving break a perfect 3-0, dropping the Golden Eagles to 1-3 this season.
Centre shot just 32.3% (20-62) overall, but had a 7-for-13 (53.8%) performance in the fourth quarter when it mattered most.

Trailing 41-34 in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, the Colonels turned up the intensity with a trapping full-court defense that forced multiple Spalding turnovers.

Free throws by seniors Olivia Schad (Cincinnati) and Paige Kellam (Hebron, Ky.) started the run. A three-point play by junior Cheyenne Bunner (Mars Hill, N.C.) after another steal cut the Spalding lead to a point.

After Spalding rallied to get the lead back to seven points, junior Madison Rice (Knoxville, Tenn.) made a layup, followed by a pilfer and score from Schad. A basket from Kellam brought the lead to one and Rice's free throws put Centre back on top at 53-52.

Spalding's Lelanda Matthews tied the score with a free throw, but Centre had the ball and the final possession. Matthews blocked the attempt by sophomore Kat Wilson (Suwanee, Ga.), but junior Abigail Stewart (LaGrange, Ky.) grabbed the loose ball and splashed a turnaround jumper with nine seconds to go to put Centre in the lead for good. The Golden Eagles' final shot fell into the arms of Stewart as Centre secured its third consecutive victory to open the season.

Stewart led all scorers with 11 points, while Schad added ten points for the Colonels.

Centre forced Spalding into 24 turnovers while committing just ten.

The Golden Eagles held a 44-24 rebounding advantage in the contest.

The Colonels will be back in action on Saturday for their first road game of the season as they take on the Hanover Panthers in Indiana.