Mountain Lions

ATHENS — The Mountain Lion basketball teams did not fare well on the road this week with both the men and women losing both contests with Glenville State and Notre Dame in MEC conference games.

On Saturday, Glenville State pulled away from the Mountain Lions just past the midway point of the first half, eventually defeating the Lions 89-74.

Sophomore guard Brandon Kennedy connect on a three-pointer at the 11:07 mark of the first to trim CU’s deficit to 20-17. However, the Pioneers scored 18 of the next 20 points in the contest to open up a 38-19 with 4:55 left in the first half.

CU was able to work Glenville State’s lead to 14 points, 49-35, at halftime.

Junior guard/forward Malik Johnson immediately hit a three-pointer after halftime to trim the deficit to 11 points, and less than four minutes into the second half the Mountain Lions were only down nine points after a dunk from senior guard Martin Kelly Jr. But, the 53-44 deficit at the 16:24 mark was the closest Concord was able to get for the remainder of the game.

Johnson netted a team-best 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Kelly Jr. tossed in 12 points off the bench while junior forward Liam Evans notched 11 points in 20 minutes of bench play. Freshman guard Ethan Heller tallied 11 points and four assists.

Glenville State wound up hittng 19 three-pointers with Phil Bledsoe pouring in 24 points and 10 rebounds. Steven Verplancken had 21 points and five rebounds. Hegel Augustin scored 18 points and seven rebounds, and Tyvon Taylor had 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Hoping to come back strong on Wednesday, the Lions were unable to rally from an early deficit as it fell, 90-73, to Notre Dame at Murphy Gymnasium.

Down seven points, 15-8, after a layup Johnson at the 14:47 of the first half, Concord watched the Falcons go on a 15-2 run over the next four minutes to open up a 30-9 lead.

NDC was able to hit nine three-pointers in the first half and carry the early run into halftime as it led 53-33 at halftime.

After Notre Dame ran its lead up to as much as 23 points in the opening minutes of the second half, Concord cut the deficit to 16 points twice with the final occurrence coming at the 10:24 mark after a layup from Brisco. The Mountain Lions did get the NDC lead back to 16 with under five minutes left, but could not get any closer in the defeat.

Brisco finished with a career-best 31 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and a 12-of-14 showing from the foul line. Johnson was the only other CU player in double figures as he posted 11 points. Junior forward David Bea Mulumba had eight points off the bench.

The women faced the same tough battle against Glenville state on Sunday afternoon, and even though senior forward Madison May hit 34 points, it was not enough as Glenville State downed the Mountain Lions, 110-84, at the Waco Center.

CU got off to a fast start as it made 6-of-7 shots in the first five minutes to jump out to a 14-11 lead on Glenville State. May had four early points while freshman guard Ashton Funderburg and junior guard Keely Lundy each hit a three-pointers in the early going.

However, the Pioneers outscored Concord 20-4 in the final 5:12 of the quarter to take a 31-18 lead into the second. Glenville State continued its momentum into the second quarter as it limited the Mountain Lions to 12 points, and took a 56-30 lead into halftime.

Concord battled back and cut the deficit to 14 points four minutes into the third quarter after five straight points from sophomore guard Gracie Robinson. Less than three minutes later, the Mountain Lions trimmed the GSC lead to 11 points, 66-55, with 3:55 remaining in the third after a May foul shot.

But, the Mountain Lions were unable to work the deficit back under 10 points as Glenville State stretched its lead back over 20 at the end of the third, going on to win by 26 points.

May finished the contest 13-for-16 from the field and hit 8-of-11 free throws. Robinson added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Riley Fitzwater netted 12 points. In her first game in over a month, Lundy finished 3-for-7 from three-point range for nine points.

The Pioneers made 16 three-pointers on the day, compared to just five for Concord. Ty Armstrong led the way with 26 points, and Zakiyah Winfield added 22 more for Glenville State. Emily Stoller went for 17 points, six assists and four rebounds. Re’Shawna Stone had 16 points and Abby Stoller pulled down 10 rebounds.

Wednesday’s game saw the women facing Notre Dame in a contest that went into overtime, but ultimately the Lady Lions fell in a heartbreaker, 82-76, inside Murphy Gymnasium.

Concord started fast and opened up a 24-13 lead after the first quarter on the strength of eight points apiece from Guynn and Fitzwater. However, NDC held the Mountain Lions to 11 points in the second quarter as CU took a 35-30 lead into halftime.

Notre Dame outscored Concord 12-7 over the first five minutes of the third quarter to tie the game, and from there neither led by more than five points for the remainder of regulation. Freshman guard Jazz Blankenship sparked the offense in closing stages of the third quarter and early parts of the fourth.

The Lester native hit three three-pointers in a 3:04 span of the second half with the third one giving the Mountain Lions a 55-50 lead with 8:33 remaining in the contest. Starting with NDC holding a 56-55 lead, the lead changed hands six times and was tied twice over the final 5:22 of the fourth quarter.

Fitzwater scored seven of the final eight points in the fourth quarter for Concord including making a free throw with 10 seconds left to push CU in front 69-67. However, Notre Dame’s Jada Marone calmly made two free throws with four seconds left to force the extra session.

Both teams went cold from the field in overtime as the Mountain Lions still held a 74-73 edge with 1:36 remaining, but the Falcons scored on consecutive trips to take a 77-74 advantage on their way to the six-point win.

Fitzwater finished with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, 14 rebounds and six blocks. Guynn added 17 points off the bench on 6-for-10 shooting. May recorded 14 points, including her 1,500 career point midway through the second quarter.

By scoring 11 points in the second half, Blankenship set a career high with 13 points.

CU shot 49.2 percent (29-for-59) from the floor, but had 25 turnovers.

The Mountain Lions return to the Carter Center Saturday to play Urbana with the men tipping off at 4 p.m. while the women begin their fight at 2 p.m.

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