Due West, S.C. – The No. 22-ranked Lander women’s basketball team (5-1, 1-0 PBC) defeated rival Erskine (2-6, 1-1 Conference Carolinas) by a score of 83-46 after leading by just seven points at the end of the first half. Five different Bearcats finished in double figures on the win.
Junior guard Christal Williams opened up the scoring with seven straight points to lead Lander in the early going. The 5’9 Williams notched two 3-pointers and one layup to give the Bearcats a 7-0 advantage with 8:48 remaining in the first quarter.
The Flying Fleet responded after the early onslaught from Williams with an 18-8 run of their own. Sophomore Cheyenne Matson connected on two consecutive shots from long distance to propel Erskine to the 18-15 lead with 3:02 remaining in the quarter.
The Bearcats got two more baskets from Williams and junior guard Ariana Sanders before the end of the first quarter to make the score 19-18 in favor of Lander at the break.
The two teams exchanged the lead early and often in the second quarter of action. With 7:41 remaining in the first half, sophomore guard Destinee Langford began to force the issue for Lander. The Bearcats mounted a 10-0 run as Langford either scored or assisted in all 10 points to give Lander a 31-25 advantage.
Lander built its largest lead of the game at 39-30 with under one minute to play in the first half. Erskine sophomore Alexis Scott found a jumper before the horn to make the score 39-32 Bearcats.
The Bearcats outscored Erskine by a 44-14 margin in the second half. Langford was the catalyst for Lander in the third quarter. The sophomore stuffed the stat sheet with 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists as the Bearcats raced out to a 60-39 advantage at the end of the period.
Lander continued its impressive play in the 4th quarter as the team allowed just seven points in the period. The Bearcats finished the game on a 20-3 run en route to a lopsided final score of 83-46.
Junior center Lea Petit finished one rebound short of an 11-point double-double. Junior guard Chelsea Mitchell had a productive night with 14 points and a team-high six steals. Langford and Sanders both finished with 14 points while junior forward Victoria Baldwin added 11 points and 7 rebounds.
The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. road game against Columbus State.