Roanoke women’s basketball travelled to Guilford College over the weekend to win games on November 16th and 17th. In their first game on Saturday they took on Alma College who made the long journey to Greensboro, North Carolina from Alma, Michigan for the Marriott Invitational.
The Alma women refused to allow Roanoke to run away with the game as they battled back from an early 4-0 lead by Roanoke. The two teams battled back and forth through the first 8 minutes of the game as Alma never allowed Roanoke to lead by any more than 5 points. With 11:27 left in the first half, Alma took its first lead of the game when Mallory Pruett sank a three point shot to give Alma a 1 point lead.
Alma took control of the game and led by 6 with 8:00 left to play in the half, but Roanoke never allowed the lead to get any larger as they slowly closed the distance between the two teams and eventually tied the game up with 5:15 left in the half when Kia Beckwith made both of her free-throws. After Kia tied the game, the Maroons took a short- lived lead before Alma made a series of layups and free-throws to gain a 4 point lead, but two good free-throws by Hannah Ward and a layup by Meghan Gadell tied the game up before halftime.
The Maroons came out of the locker room for the second half on a mission to take the game and bring their coach within 1 win of her 600 career win goal. The Maroons commanded the second half as they outscored Alma College 46-31. The Maroons had their largest lead of 22 points when there was 4:29 remaining on the clock before Alma made a desperate attempt to make a comeback. They managed to reduce the margin to 13 points, but the lead remained for a Maroons 83-68 win. Tatum McKee led the Maroons with 24 points followed by Paxton Gwin with 14 and Kelsey Smith with 11.
The next day the Maroons returned to the court absolutely determined to take a win from York College of Pennsylvania. The two teams battled back and forth through the first 8:12 of the game as York never allowed the Maroons to lead by more than 5 points. However, starting with two successful free-throws by Kia Beckwith, the Maroons ran away with the half by outscoring York College 33-16 in the last 12:04 of the first half. The teams retreated to their locker room after the half with Roanoke leading 45-24.
The Maroons came out of halftime sure of themselves and prepared to preserve the 21 point lead they established in the first half. The Maroons did just that as they continued to run the game as they outscored York 35-19 in the second half to win the game 80-43. With their 37 point lead, the Maroons clinched head coach Susan Dunagan’s 600th career victory which makes her only the 46th coach to reach 600 wins in NCAA basketball Divisions I, II, and III.
The Maroons play again on Saturday November 23 and Sunday November 24 and are looking to rebound after their loss to Ferrum College as they face Randolph-Macon College and Christopher Newport University.