Times West Virginian
Glenville State’s Ginny Mills drained a 3-point field goal with three seconds remaining to help the Lady Pioneers rally for a wild 111-110 victory over visiting Fairmont State on Monday evening at the Lilly Gymnasium.
The win improved Glenville to 4-1 overall and to 2-0 in the Mountain East Conference. FSU, on the other hand, fell to 3-2 overall and to 1-1 in the league.
“It was an absolutely fabulous college basketball game,” said veteran FSU coach Steve McDonald. “Quite frankly, it all came down to them making one more play than we did. We had the ball on our last possession and did what we wanted to do that possession. Makenzie White made a great move off of a set play and scored to give us the lead, but we just went a little too early. We wanted that to be a few seconds later.
“We didn’t have any timeouts left to call after that basket because we had used them in the first half and early in the second to get us back in touch. I would’ve liked to have had one there, but I didn’t.
“Give Glenville a great deal of credit though. They made a play with the game on the line. At the same time, boy, am I proud of our kids. We competed tonight very well. I told them afterward that we have a better team right now than we did before the game.”
Glenville, which controlled the contest for much of the second half and even had a 15-point 84-69 lead with 13:14 remaining, watched that margin disappear in the waning minutes thanks to a tremendous rally by FSU.
The Lady Falcons took control of the game 105-101 on back-to-back layups by Brianna Innocent and Emily Lohr inside the two-minute mark.
After Lohr gave the Lady Falcons a 107-103 advantage with 52 seconds left on a pair of free throws, Glenville staged its final rally.
Mills, who had just five points in the win, got all of them in the last 43 seconds. She connected on two free throws with 43 seconds left to close the gap to two at 107-105.
At the other end, Innocent — a transfer from Wright State who played arguably the best college game of her career, finishing with a career-high 33 points and 10 rebounds — made one of two free throws to make it 108-105 Fairmont with 34 ticks remaining.
On GSC’s next-to-last possession, Tasia Bistow drove the lane, made a layup and got fouled by Fairmont’s Deidra Combs with 28 seconds left. Bistow, who led the Lady Pioneers with 20 points, 12 of which came in the second half, nailed the free throw to knot the game at 108.
At the other end, White drove to the basket and got a tough layup to fall with nine seconds remaining, giving Fairmont its final lead at 110-108. Then Mills hit the game-winner from the wing for the Lady Pioneers. Fairmont got one last desperation heave by White from three-quarter court that fell short as the final horn sounded.
“Again, I thought our effort tonight was outstanding,” said McDonald. “If we give the type of effort that we gave tonight night in and night out this season, we’ll be right where we want to be at the end of the season.”
As noted, Innocent led Fairmont State with an outstanding individual effort. She came off the bench and hit 12-of-14 field goals and 9-of-10 free throws to account for her game-high 33 points. She scored 18 of her points in the second half.
Emily Lohr added 20 points and seven rebounds for Fairmont, 12 of which came in the final 20 minutes.
“When you play this style of play, bigger players are going to have more opportunities because hanging around the basket you’re going to get some open shots and I think that was the case for all of our bigger players tonight,” said McDonald. “We took 10 threes tonight and we probably should’ve only taken five because the way we want to play in this type of a game is we want to attack the rim, which is going to lead to open shots and points.”
Innocent and Lohr led six Lady Falcons in double figures. Joining them were White, who finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and nine assists; Hailey Garrett, who ended up with 15 points before fouling out with 8:38 left to play; Combs, who scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed seven boards; and Hallie Gunnoe, who chipped in 11 points and six rebounds before she fouled out with 1:06 remaining.
GSC also had six players reach double figures in the scoring column, led by Bistow’s 20 points. The Lady Pioneers also got 15 from Keyanna Tate, 14 from Kenyell Goodson, 13 from Ashleigh Fossett, 11 from Tiffani Huffman and 10 from Kenyona Simmons.
Former North Marion High School point guard Jessica Parsons scored five points, including a crucial late 3-point field goal, and handed out a game-high 10 assists.
Fairmont State will be idle until Dec. 5 when it visits the University of Charleston for a 5:30 p.m. game.