HATTIESBURG, Miss. • BMC Women's Basketball won its SSAC opener last Thursday over William Carey 66-65 on a last second shot by freshman Carissa Horton (FR/Cleveland, Ala.).
Horton was at the foul line with the Lady Toppers down 65-64 when she missed both shots but came up big when she grabbed her own rebound on the second one and drained a left-handed floater for the win.
Blue Mountain, starting four sophomores at the tip, opened the game on a 6-0 run followed by a 9-6 lead after a three by Olivia Chadwell (SO/Loretto, Tenn.). Chadwell had nine of BMC's 17 first-quarter points. The game was tied at 17 after the first.
Emilee Murr (SR/Athens, Ala.) got going in the second quarter, nailing four 3-pointers with Carey leading 36-32 at the break.
The Crusaders jumped out to an 11-point lead in the third quarter, but the Toppers would cut into it and trail by only four, 48-44 at the end of the frame aided by a three from Kandice Ricks (SO/Muscle Shoals, Ala.) and a bucket under the goal by Carissa Horton.
BMC would come all the way back with 4:44 in the final quarter to tie it at 58-58 on two deep balls by Murr and a 15-footer by Horton.
Steals by Ricks and Horton with less than two minutes, and two free-throws by Ricks with 38 seconds left gave BMC a four-point lead.
Carey would get the lead on a McKinley Seal three and a layup by Tariah Mouton on a turnover, but BMC refused to go down, leading to Horton's heroics.
"It was a great team effort for a big win tonight," BMC head coach Lavon Driskell said. "It just reinforces the fact that if you don't quit and you don't give up on the play, good things happen. We were truly blessed to get a win over a good William Carey team. Coach English (Tracy) and his staff do a great job, so we are happy anytime we pick up a win against them."
Murr led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Ricks with 13 and Chadwell with 12. Jade Wells (SO/Memphis, Tenn.) pulled down 10 rebounds also for Blue Mountain. Horton finished with eight points.