ADRIAN, Mich.--Senior Antoinea McElroy had game highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds to propel the Adrian College Bulldogs past visiting Alma College, 66-63, in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's basketball opener for both teams at the Merillat Sport and Fitness Center on Wednesday.
Adrian improves to 2-3 on the season after beating the Scots for the sixth-straight time. Alma falls to 1-4 overall.
Kassidy Blough and Kelsey Wolffis led Alma with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Wolffis filled the stat sheet by adding a team-high seven rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals--leading all student-athletes in the last two categories.
After a jumper by McCullough to match Adrian's biggest lead in the fourth quarter, 59-52, the Bulldogs did not make another field goal for the final 5 minutes and 5 seconds. And despite missing five of their last 12 free throw attempts, Adrian was able to force a key turnover with under 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
With Adrian clinging to a 65-63 lead, Alma called a timeout to set up a final shot and Adrian replied with a timeout of its own to set up defensively. The Scots inbounded the ball in the frontcourt but Wolffis was pressured into a traveling call to change possession to Adrian. Then Cotton was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws in the double-bonus to push the Bulldogs up by three points. Alma had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Blough's 3-point attempt from the right elbow fell short at the final buzzer.
Adrian commanded a 44 to 29 rebounding average, including 16-9 on the offensive glass.
Alma erased a 19-15 disadvantage after 10 minutes to take its biggest lead of 24-19 on a pair of free throws by Kaitlyn Kendall (6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) with 6:37 to go in the second quarter. But McElroy made her team's last four points to cap a 15-7 run to go into the half with a 34-31 lead.
In the second half, neither squad led by more than seven points and both battled toward the end.
Completing its home schedule for the fall semester, Adrian closes the Calendar Year with five road games in a row beginning on Saturday (3 p.m.) at Trine in another MIAA contest.
(Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie / Story by Patrick Stewart)