Warhawks withstand second half rally, defeat Brenau 63-60 | Schools
Katie Williams had a season-high 24 points, and LaKenya Drayton added 21 to lead the No. 20 Auburn Montgomery women's basketball team to a hard-fought 63-60 victory over Brenau University.
AUM (13-3, 6-0) built up a double-digit lead in the second half, but the Golden Tigers (9-6, 2-2) used a 12-0 run midway through the frame to take a 54-53 lead with 7:40 to go. The Warhawks immediately went back in front on a Kamesha Strong jumper and never trailed again in the closing minutes, holding on to remain undefeated in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
"We lost the lead, but we didn't panic," Head Coach Dan Davis said. "We showed our poise, we got stops on defense and made some shots down the stretch that you have to make to win a big conference game like this."
Brenau hit a jump shot with 2:32 remaining to cut AUM's lead to 59-58, and the Golden Tigers had three opportunities to take the lead afterwards but they were unable to convert.
Drayton hit two key free throws to move the lead back to three with 39 seconds left. After Brenau again reduced the deficit to one point, Williams hit another two clutch shots from the charity stripe. Brittney Wiley, who led Brenau with 17 points, missed a potential tying 3-pointer with two seconds left.
"You have to give Kenya and Katie for knocking down those free throws," Davis said. "That builds confidence for the whole team because now they've been there, they've held on late in a game and you're going to have to do that in conference play. You're not going to win all of them by 20."
Williams tied a season-high with six 3-pointers. Overall, the junior guard hit 8-of-16 shots from the field, breaking her previous season-high points total of 20 against Virginia-Wise.
"I thought Katie played great," Davis said. "She played with a lot of emotion and passion on defense this weekend, and she had been due for one of these shooting games."
Drayton added a team-high 12 rebounds to pick up her fifth double-double of the season. Her and Williams combined to score 71.4 percent of AUM's points in the game. Strong led the team with four assists, while Psachal Maize added six points and three assists.
AUM held a slim 32-30 lead at halftime. The Warhawks started the final 20 minutes on a 16-5 run to take their largest advantage of 13 points before Brenau began to chip away.
The Warhawks have now won two in a row after dropping three of four. The team will look forward to next Saturday's home matchup against local rival Faulkner, which is currently 14-3 and 4-1 in the SSAC. The Lady Eagles are in second place behind AUM in the SSAC West division.
"I'm real proud of this win," Davis said. "We swept the east division, and now we can take a deep breath and start getting prepared for our first divisional game against one of the best teams in the nation in Faulkner. It will be a good contest for both teams."
Source: AUM Sports Information Director