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Concord women spark late rally, beat Wheeling 74-71

Feb. 23—ATHENS — The Concord University women's basketball team overcame a double-digit deficit in the third quarter, as it picked up a 74-71 win at the Carter Center in Mountain East Conference action against Wheeling Wednesday.

Trailing by seven points in the fourth quarter, 59-52, Concord (15-10, 10-7 MEC), charged a 13-4 scoring rally to storm back and take the lead.

Junior guard Skylar Davidson poked loose a steal and went coast-to-coast to bring the Mountain Lions within three, 59-56, with just over seven minutes left in the contest.

After a Wheeling (16-9, 11-7 MEC) three-pointer, junior guard/forward Deja Atkinson answered with a layup to make the score 62-58. Davidson and senior guard Maddie Ratcliff contributed free throws, as CU trailed by just one, 63-62, at the 4:29 mark.

Then, after a pair of missed Cardinals free throws, graduate guard Nakaila Gray buried a three-pointer to give Concord its first lead since the second quarter, 65-63.

The Mountain Lions never trailed again, adding insurance layups from Atkinson and Ratcliff on consecutive possessions to lead 69-63 with 2:32 to play. Wheeling pulled within one point, but four made free throws by graduate forward Alexis Phillips in the final 17 seconds sealed yet another come-from-behind victory for Concord, 74-71.

Phillips didn't miss from the free throw line, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.

The Mountain Lions saw their first lead of the game when Davidson found the net on a layup, capping off a 7-0 scoring run to hold a two-point edge, 15-13. Two Wheeling free throws at the end of the quarter knotted the scoring 15-15 heading into the second frame.

Freshman guard Ana Young made two three-pointers early in the second quarter as part of a 10-2 run, as CU went up 25-17, its largest lead of the game. Wheeling, though, rallied back to take 35-30 lead at halftime.

Wheeling led by 11 at the 5:44 mark in the third quarter, but back-to-back threes from Phillips and Gray made the score 46-41 with five minutes to play. Later in the quarter, a three-point play from Young tied the game 50-50, but a Wheeling layup at the buzzer saw the Cardinals hold a 52-50 edge heading into the fourth quarter.

CU saw five players finish in double figures in back-to-back games led by Phillips with 14 points. Atkinson and Gray contributed 12 points each, as Atkinson netted four free throws and Gray shot 2-for-2 from three-point range. Young (11) and Davidson (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers. Davidson had a team-leading five assists.

The Mountain Lions outrebounded the Cardinals 39-29, with sophomore forward Abbie Smith grabbing eight boards. CU also used 16 offensive rebounds to net 17 second chance points. CU's bench scored 20 or more points for the third consecutive game, with the reserves adding 29 points.

CU heads to West Liberty for an MEC road test at the ASRC Saturday at 2 p.m.