by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College women's basketball team (9-0) extended their winning streak to nine games with a 50-45 win against Limestone College (7-3) in its second game of the Stair South Classic, Saturday afternoon at the Centennial Center. The Bobcats are now within two games of tying the all-time mark for consecutive wins at 11 (2003-04).
In their biggest test to date, the Bobcats held on to beat the Saints, who appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament. According to the most recent USA Today Sports Division II Top-25 Coaches' Poll, this matchup pitted two of the nation's top-50 teams with both teams receiving votes. The Bobcat win marked only the second time that the team ended the calendar year undefeated from the start of a season (2003-04).
Junior Enisha Donley (Loganville, Ga.) was named the tournament's MVP. She had a season-high 22 points Friday and followed up with a team-high 14 points Saturday, leaving the Bobcats as the only undefeated team in the tournament.
"Resilient," is how women's head basketball coach Maurice Smith described his team's performance. "We were missing a lot of easy baskets, but we found other ways to win."
Georgia College hit just 1-of-18 from beyond the arc. The game went down to the finish with the score knotted 10 times, but the Bobcats out-scored the Saints 11-1 in second-chance points and that may have been the difference.
The lead went back-and-forth in the second half with the biggest advantage being three points by the Saints until Senior Brandi McKinney (Cincinnati) took control of the game late.
McKinney gave the Bobcats their biggest second-half lead at four with less than four minutes left and ended up tallying Georgia College's final six points to build a late seven-point lead that was enough for the win.
It took the GC women's team almost five minutes to establish its first lead at 6-5 before getting a seven-point lead midway through the first half. An almost five-minute scoring draught allowed the Saints to climb back into the contest and end the half down only two at 28-26.
Also impressive for the Bobcats was senior Thresia Elskamp (Potosi, Wis.), who was selected to the all-tournament team and led the Bobcats in rebounds with 15, added nine points and had two steals. Junior Shanteona Keys (Roswell, Ga.) was also strong defensively, accounting for 11 rebounds while adding five points. She now has 972 career points and is just 28 shy of 1,000.
Leading the way for the Saints was Alicia Brookins with 12 points, while Celestra Warren added 11 boards.
Joining Donley and Elskamp on the Stair South Classic All-Tournament Team was Limestone's Ayshia McNeil, Tuskegee's Kajuanna Rivers, and UNC Pembroke's Jazmine Kemp.
The Bobcats resume Peach Belt Conference play with their next game Thursday, Jan. 2 at UNCP at 5:30 p.m.