Thursday, February 10, 2005

Rust loses two to LeMoyne-Owen
Sports Editor

The biggest games of the year happen when the schedule of the Rust teams links them to LeMoyne-Owen College of Memphis.

These games over the years have never really been based on records (Rust plays in Division III and LeMoyne-Owen in Division II).

The games have been a complete sellout for years because they attract former students from both schools who flock to town to see the contests.

The Lady Magicians got this one off to a fast start. The Lady Bearcats made five trips down the court and came up dry. The Lady Magicians, in the meantime, had built a 10-zip lead.

Latoya Brown finally lit up the board on Rust’s side with one hit from the charity stripe.

The Lady Bearcats were being consistently beaten on the boards by LeMoyne-Owen. And just when Rust’s sparkplug, Helen Wright, put on a scoring spurt, the Lady Magicians’ Christal McClain started sticking treys from everywhere. The Lady Bearcats were in the hole by 13 points after the first 20 minutes.

The Lady Bearcats used a pressure defense in the second half but to no avail. The Lady Bearcats’ transition game was practically non-existent. Plagued by turnovers usually resulting from errant passes, they could not stop the Lady Magicians who continued to push the ball even after building a comfortable lead. They went on to win it 83-67.

The Lady Bearcats were led by Wright with 20 points. Ladetra Bridges and Tameria Jones aided her with 13 each.

The Lady Magicians had four shooters in double figures, starting with McClain with 15, Sabra Wimberly with 14, Ericca Drake with 12 and Pamela Green with 10.

The Bearcats found themselves in a real war even after establishing an early lead against perennial foe LeMoyne-Owen. As soon as the Magicians found the range, they wasted little time in speeding past the Bearcats. But Rust was defending its house and at one time went to an 11-point lead.

Then with 8:07 remaining in the first half the game was halted by the officials because the really huge crowd had blocked all exits and encroached on the baselines. It took game officials and Campus Security almost 30 minutes to clear the areas. When play resumed, the Bearcats again took the lead and went into intermission with a thin two-point margin at 50-48.

The lead kept changing hands in the second half with the Magicians battling back each time. When the pendulum swung the other way, it was Rust who would find the opening to come back.

The game was tied at 75 for the last time and the Bearcats were trailing by four with three minutes left. But the Magicians would not relinquish the lead and went on to the 103-96 victory.

The Bearcats’ record was evened at 10-10. Rust’s head coach, Rodney Stennis, had indicated before the game that Rust would have to win all of their remaining games (six) to get a shot at any post season action.

Larry Wells fueled the Magicians’ machine with 30 points, Desmond Maray had 24 and Kenny Bohanna had 21. Dewit Gebrekidan led Rust’s shooters with 16. He was followed by Lamont Keaton with 14 and Louis Turner with 12.

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