TENNERTON - Buckhannon-Upshur's girls continued their late season improvement Wednesday night, rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Liberty 55-48 in a Big 10 Conference encounter.
Riding a second-half defensive shutdown of Liberty star Heather Hickman, the Lady Bucs consummated the comeback in exciting fashion.
Early on, Hickman was the show. The entire show.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Ferguson
Buckhannon-Upshur’s Kelsey Hinzman scores two of her team-high 22 points during the Lady Bucs’ 55-48 victory over Liberty Wednesday night in Tennerton.
Drilling 22 points over the first two quarters, Hickman outscored the Lady Bucs in the first half, as Liberty had a 29-18 lead at intermission.
This led B-U head coach Tristan Gray and his staff to take action.
"She had to be the focus of our adjustments," Gray said. "We chose Alexis McDaniels to guard Hickman and she did an amazing job sticking to her. We had some offensive stars tonight, but Alexis was the star of this game for that defensive effort on a great player in the second half."
B-U opened the second half with 13-0 run in the first 3 minutes, turning the tide for a 31-29 lead. Liberty never lead again, but it briefly tied the game 39-39 in the first minute of the fourth quarter. B-U responded with a 5-0 run for a 44-39 lead that it never relinquished.
With McDaniels locking down Hickman, who scored only two field goals in the second half, Jessica Feronti was clogging the Liberty passing lanes, and the duo of Kelsey Hinzman and Megan Wilfong were spearheading the Buc offense. Feronti closed the night with nine steals and nine points. Hinzman posted a team-high 22 points, with Wilfong scoring 13 while pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds.
Hickman ended the evening with 27 points and nine rebounds, while teammate Abbie Smith also just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine assists.
B-U improves to 3-14 with the win and will host Grafton at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a league game.
Liberty dropped to 4-12 on the season.