CHARLESTON - Glenville State withstood a late rally from No. 1 seed Charleston here Saturday night inside the Charleston Civic Center and emerged with a 77-73 victory to win the West Virginia Conference women's basketball championship for the first time since 2007.
The third-seeded Pioneers of head coach Bunky Harkleroad, who will enter regional action with a 23-8 mark, forced 21 turnovers and got a pair of Kenyell Goodson free throws with three seconds left to seal the victory.
Lindsey Kentner scored 23 points and Tiani Beatty added 20 more, but it wasn't enough as the Golden Eagles (24-7) lost to GSC for the second time in three meetings this season.
Photo courtesy of Glenville State College
Beth Deren of Glenville State College, left, is all smiles after the Pioneers upended Charleston, 77-73, to win the West Virginia Conference women’s basketball championship Saturday night inside the Charleston Civic Center. Deren led GSC with 16 points.
Beth Deren led the Pioneers with 16 points, going 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.
After going into intermission with a 38-31 cushion thanks to a 16-6 run, Glenville State pushed its advantage to double figures early in the second half and kept it there until late.
Following a timeout by GSC with 5 minutes left in the contest, former Gilmer County all-stater Catherine Butcher fed Mishae Miles for two of her eight points to stretch the advantage to a dozen at 72-60. However, the Golden Eagles then went on a 9-2 spurt behind a trio of 3-pointers to make it a two possession game with 2:27 remaining at 74-69.
Despite having a few more chances to cut the deficit to single digits, Charleston ended up missing a pair of jumpers and had a turnover.
The Pioneers then tacked on a foul shot from Danielle Woodmore to push the advantage to six with 40 seconds remaining.
Although a Chrissy Keir lay-in with 13 seconds left made it a 75-71 affair, UC's final field goal came from a Beatty jumper with six ticks to go.
UC, which held a 50-40 edge on the boards, got a double-double from Beatty thanks to her 10 boards. Beatty also added seven assists while teammate Tarena Dixon had a dozen rebounds and eight points.
Miles grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds while Pioneer point guard Miranda Reed dished out a game-high eight assists.
Latoya Hambrick and Tenisha Wilson chipped in 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Pioneers, who received a game-high three steals from ex-Parkersburg South standout Kim Stephens. Kristen Golden came off the Pioneer bench to score eight points in less than 10 minutes of action.
The Pioneers, who will find out tonight about their next game, landed Reed, Miles and Wilson on the all-tournament team.
Wilson was honored as the tournament's most valuable player while Reed claimed the commissioner's heart and hustle award.