Ferrum College junior Boreika Burwell (24), a former Franklin County standout, shoots over a William Peace University defender during the second half of Wednesday’s 81-51 Panthers’ victory at William P. Swartz Gymnasium. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)
Friday, November 30, 2012
By STEVEN MARSH - Sports Editor
FERRUM -- As the reigning USA South Athletic Conference champion and the preseason title favorite, Ferrum College's women's basketball team is the targeted opponent of its 11 league rivals.
That fact was evident during the first half of Wednesday's 2012-13 conference opener against William Peace (N.C.) University.
The Panthers escaped that stanza with a five-point lead before delivering a metaphorical knock-out punch to the Pacers in the second half.
The result: a 30-point, 81-51 waxing by Ferrum in its home opener at William P. Swartz Gymnasium.
The Panthers' win is their eighth in a row at home dating to last year and they have three more home games over the upcoming week starting with tonight's non-league contest against Lynchburg College.
"Coach (Bryan) Harvey has said to us that we're going to get everybody's best shot because of what happened last year,' said starting guard Kayla Goins, a junior.
Ferrum (1-0 in the USA South, 3-0 overall), playing its first conference game as reigning league champion, hit Peace (0-1 in the USA South, 2-2 overall) with a 19-0 run over the opening 6 1/2 minutes of the second half to settle the issue.
During the closing 5 1/2 minutes of the first half, the Pacers delivered their best shot to the Panthers. Trailing 31-18, the Pacers completed the half with a 14-6 spurt to pull within five, 37-32.
The second half belonged to Ferrum.
Ferrum's early run was fueled by 3-point field goals swished by Goins, Telsa Akers and Kylene Culler and baskets in transition that were the results of turnovers forced by the Panthers' defense.
"When we're making shots, it's a whole lot easier (to play defense),' Akers said.
"In the second half, we came out and played like we know how to play. That was the key,' Goins said. "In the first half, I thought we played well, but it wasn't the Ferrum basketball that we're used to.
"In the second half, we knew that we had to pick up the pace, run the floor and close the gaps on defense. That's our game,' Goins said.
After Peace scored its initial basket of the second half at the 13:19 mark, Ferrum answered with a 13-0 run for a 69-34 lead.
Later, the Panthers would double the spread twice: at 72-36 and 74-37.
Peace reached the 40-point mark with 2:36 showing and scored its 10th point of the half 26 seconds later. Then, the visitors netted nine points to break 50.
"At halftime, we talked about getting more ball pressure (in the second half), and I think we did a better job of speeding the game up with our defensive intensity,' Harvey said.
"Obviously, when you make some shots, you get a little more energy on defense. But, we're trying to do the opposite -- have our defense pick us up offensively and we talked about that at halftime,' Harvey said. "You can't let what happens offensively affect what happens on the defensive end.
"Once we got in a good flow in the second half, I thought we did some good things,' Harvey said.
Katy Kipps paced the Panthers with 15 points in 19 minutes of action. She was 4 of 6 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Akers (13), Goins (12) and Culler (11) completed a quartet of double-figure scorers for Ferrum, which converted 63 percent of its shots in the second half and finished the game with a 57.7 percent clip.
Katisha Hyman led Peace with 12 points and Krystal Williams added 10.